277

Earl Hines: Once Upon A Time

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Upon listening to Once Upon A Time for the first time, you may have to glance at the cover to confirm that you aren’t listening to an Ellington album by mistake, for this session is littered with Ellington stalwarts like Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance, Paul Gonsalves, and Jimmy Hamilton. You may also do a double take when you notice that the rest of the rhythm section is comprised of mavericks Richard Davis and Elvin Jones.

Despite the incongruities, they all conspire to create a grand swinging session that features heavy dollops of boogie woogie and swing and plenty of growls, smears, and plungers as well. Working through a variety of numbers from a brooding “Black and Tan Fantasy” to a frenetic “Cottontail,” pianist Earl Hines and company produce some first-rate big band music. The horn and reed men deliver some scalding choruses; Cat Anderson in particular rises to the occasion for some blistering high register solos. Surprisingly, Jones and Davis stick close to the beat and Hines, a reluctant soloist, prefers to fan the flames in the background.

Pee Wee Russell steps in for “The Blues In My Flat,” which also features an effective vocal delivery by Ray Nance. After being an artist for so long, it’s refreshing to see one of the old masters at the top of his game so late in his career. A welcome reissue, especially for those who are eager to see assorted Ellington sidemen strut their stuff.

See Combing the Verve Catalog for related reviews.
Visit Verve on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Once Upon A Time 2. Black and Tan Fantasy 3. Fantastic That

Personnel: Earl Hines-piano; Cat Anderson, Bill Berry, Ray Nance, Clark Terry-trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper-trombone; Jimmy Hamilton-clarinet, tenor saxophone; Pee Wee Russell-clarinet; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope-alto saxophone; Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves-tenor saxophone; Richard Davis, Aaron Bell-bass; Elvin Jones, Sonny Greer-drums.

Title: Once Upon A Time | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Impulse!


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.