"Earl" Not a Nickname for Pianist Hines
In my daily reading of the many news stories related to jazz, I came across this curious quote:
As the late Frank Johnson pointed out: "They all know Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Earl Hines, so they assume Lord Deedes is another jazz musician."
Perhaps this quote might have been more acurate if the three names were Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and King Oliver, for "Earl" was not the nickname bestowed on the pianist Earl Kenneth Hines, but rather "Fatha," given to him by a radio announcer during his stint in the 1930s at the Grand Terrace Ballroom in Chicago. Earl Hines is often referred to as the "father of modern jazz piano" and also as developing an improvisational style on the piano known as the "trumpet style", as he often used octaves to get that cutting sound through the band akin in register and energy to a trumpet. His duet performance of "Weather Bird" with Louis Armstrong still remains a high point in the history of jazz recordings.