Here is a piano potpourri from the 1975 Nice Jazz Festival, broadcast on French television in 1977. In reverse, we have the amazingly durable Sammy Price and Art Hodes approaching the blues in their own ways, the former creating Saturday-night dance music, the latter burrowing deep inside the form; Earl Hines wandering the cosmos in his astonishing fashion, improvising on a swing standard and two “pop tunes” as he had always done. For me, the crown goes to the less-heralded Johnny Guarnieri, swinging and striding irresistibly at a variety of tempos: I wish more people paid attention to his beautiful approaches to the idiom. Listen to his WILD ABOUT HARRY and the rest. But you’ll decide; there’s no final examination in this post.
Johnny Guarnieri: BYE BYE BLUES [mislabeled as WANG WANG BLUES] – I’M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY (solo) / S’POSIN’ (add Larry Ridley, string bass, Ray Mosca, drums) (7.22-23.75)
Earl Hines: CANADIAN SUNSET – LULLABY OF BIRDLAND – CLOSE TO YOU (Harley White, string bass; Eddie Graham, drums)
Art Hodes (7.27.75) THE MOOCHE
Johnny Guarnieri: THE SHEIK OF ARABY / (7.24.75) CAROLINA SHOUT
Sammy Price (7.25.75) BOOGIE WOOGIE (Doc Cheatham, Gene Connors, John Hardee, others):
What marvels the Elders created, so casually and so fervently.
May your happiness increase!