1974 was a watershed year in the career of Earl Hines. Sixteen LPs were issued that year under his name, including this, his only record of Cole Porter songs. At the age of 71, his pianistic powers remained undiminished and Porter's melodically and harmonically rich songs provided the perfect vehicle for Hines's fertile imagination to take wing. The full range of his enviable technique—in another age he could have been a classical virtuoso—is on display for all to admire: perfectly articulated trills, roulades, tremolos, broken chords, rubato, a seemingly inexhaustible variety of touch, and of course, his unmatched rhythmic daring.
Porter's songs are illuminated in previously unimagined ways—a true meeting of minds and a heady cocktail that leaves one a bit giddy but happily so. Any of these recordings could serve as a master class in the art of jazz piano or improvisation in general. Excellent liner notes and a selected discography by noted jazz scholar Dan Morgenstern.