V.S.O.P. #31 MODE 128 PIANO PLAYHOUSE
Carl Perkins (piano), Paul Smith (piano), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Lou Levy (piano), Gerald Wiggins (piano).
Recorded, September 13, 1957, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA. Producer: Red Clyde Engineer: Bones Howe Liner Notes: Jeff Barr Cover Design: Zim Craus
This September, 1957 Mode recording is one of the few unreleased Mode sessions that survive. It showcases five great pianists, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Rowles, Lou Levy, Paul Smith and Gerald Wiggins peforming four solo piano performances each of well-known and not so well-known standards (also one blues, one traditional and one jazz standard). The session is something of a cutting contest reminiscent of the famous stride piano duels, only this one is a five-way battle. From the performances, it is clear that every one of the musicians was in the studio for each other's turn at the Steinway. Art Tatum seems to have been the inspiration of the moment, but each player reveals his individual style during the four selections allotted. There are many fine moments and some of these selections are absolute gems, among the best recorded for Mode Records.
Other sources for CD: City Hall Records