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MUSA 15—Earl "Fatha" Hines: Selected Piano Solos, 1928-1941

Edited by Jeffrey Taylor

As accompanist, ensemble player, and soloist, Earl "Fatha" Hines (1903-1983) revolutionized the role of the piano in jazz. This publication focuses on his solo artistry and will include complete transcriptions of fourteen solo recordings made by Hines between 1928 and 1941. These pieces show how Hines integrated Harlem stride, blues, novelty piano, and Western classical music with the work of other improvising soloists (especially trumpeter Louis Armstrong) to develop an innovative and highly personal style that continues to influence jazz pianists today. The thirteen-year span of the edition will also allow the scholar to trace the development of Hines's improvisational approach, and evaluate how Hines adapted to the changing stylistic language of the 1930s and early 1940s. To facilitate study of Hines's improvisational process, each transcription will be accompanied by the sheet music for the source tune being used as a basis for the performance (when available). Alternate versions of two improvisations will be included to show how Hines approached the same tune in subsequent performances. A tune history, discography, and stylistic commentary for each piece will be provided, as well as a prefatory essay examining Hines's life and career, his piano style, and his role in the development of the jazz piano solo as a genre.


Block, Geoffrey. Review of Selected Piano Solos, 1928-1941, by Earl “Fatha” Hines. Edited by Jeffrey Taylor. Notes 63, no. 4 (2007): 934-938.

Harker, Brian. Review of Selected Piano Solos, 1928-1941, by Earl “Fatha” Hines. Edited by Jeffrey Taylor. Journal of the Society for American Music 6, no. 1 (2012): 118-120.