Joyce Collins (p), Gene Estes (vib), Ray Brown, Bob Bertaux (b), Frank Butler, Jerry Williams (d)
Reference: FSRCD 712
Bar code: 8427328607124
Joyce Collins (1930-2010) was an assertive two-handed pianist who listed Erroll Garner and Bud Powell as major influencesincidentally, she was also the first woman jazz pianist to serve on the board of directors of Los Angeles, Local 47, American Federation of Musicians.
Her musical judgment was impeccable and she backed it with the ability to invigorate her material with a fresh, exciting and inventive approach. Its amply demonstrated on Girl Here Plays Mean Piano, her first album, made in the major league company of bassist Ray Brown and drummer Frank Butler, who gave her the kind of firm, supple and propulsive support she relished. And on a swinging album its also worth noting how beautifully she handles the out-of-tempo passages, with Brown bowing, on Al Cohns impressively mood-evoking Ah, Moore.
On the four additional rare bonus tracks she shares the spotlight with vibraphonist Gene Estes and a driving rhythm section, including Bob Bertaux and Jerry Williams, for a solid, swinging session.
These are the earliest of the all too few recordings this fine pianist made in her career. The loss is ours.