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Before Dave Matthews was even born, guys like Lou Stein were all the rage on the college campuses. The equivalent of the modern day cover band, the Lou Stein Trio played lightly swinging music for dancing and recorded a few albums along the way, two of which are collected here. At first, Stein’s approach seems like little more than cocktail music, so much so that one expects to hear glasses clinking in the background. However, Stein is actually a gifted interpreter of standards, the equivalent of Tatum dressed up in tweed, and his piano stylings are quite enjoyable, echoing West Coast pianists like Pete Jolly and Jimmy Rowles. House Hop showcases Stein in a trio setting and displays Stein’s gift of breathing new life into standards that by this time were already a bit long in the tooth. 3, 4, and 5 is more varied, what with the three horns added in various combinations and a more obscure selection of tunes, but is no less entertaining; Stein even contributes a few originals that sit well with classics like “Gone With the Wind”. Those who are looking for great art or musicianship should undoubtedly turn their attention elsewhere, but Stein probably never had such aspirations in the first place. A welcome reissue of an obscure pianist’s work.
Track Listing: 1. Goody, Goody 2. Cherry 3. Why Do I Love You 4. All Of Me 5. Dinah 6. There'll Be Some Changes Made 7. This Can't Be Love 8. Truckin' 9. On the Sunny Side of the Street 10. Mean To Me 11. Rose Room 12. Indiana 13. Lullaby in Rhythm 14. Love Walked In 15. Jeepers Creepers 16. Jim and Andy's 17. Gone With the Wind 18. Prelude to a Kiss 19. There's A Small Hotel 20. I Concentrate on You 21. Ming Tree 22. East of the Suez 23. My Baby Just Cares For Me 24. Jobolou.
Personnel: Lou Stein-piano; Joe Morella-drums; Bob Carter-bass; Peanuts Hucko-saxophone; Johnny Barrows, Jimmy Buffington-French horn.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.