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Earl Hines was born in 1903. He has been called the first modern jazz pianist. His style differed from other pianists of the Twenties in his use of what were then considered unusal rhythms and accents. Jelly Roll Morton had set the direction of Jazz piano in the early part of the decade, but after 1926 Hines was at the forefront of the Hot Jazz style.

Hines started playing professionally around 1921 in Pittsburgh. He met Louis Armstrong in 1926 and the two became friends. Hines worked briefly in Louis Armstrong's Stompers and along with Zutty Singleton. In 1928 he recorded his first ten piano solos and joined Louis Armstrong on the Hot Five and Hot Seven recording sessions. On his birthday that year, Hines debuted with his first big band.

In 1940 Billy Eckstine became the band's popular singer and in 1943 both Dizzy Gillepsie and Charlie Parker played with him.

In 1948 Hines joined the Louis Armstrong's All-Stars and played with them for three years. By the early Sixties, Hines was pretty much out of the Jazz mainstream and forgotten. In 1964 staged a major comeback that lasted through the rest of his career.

He died in 1983.

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