Maurice Hines can’t stop moving. Even when relatively stationary from the waist up, this effusively good-natured dancer, choreographer and singer, who recently turned 69, shuffles his feet, rotates his legs and twitches with an uncontainable urge to swoop and tap. You might say he is driven by a compulsion to swing.
And at Wednesday’s opening-night performance of his new show, “Tap’in Through Life,” at 54 Below, he had powerful support from the Diva Jazz Orchestra, a nine-woman ensemble led by the drummer Sherrie Maricle. The orchestra is no demure slow-dance ensemble in the sweet band tradition of swing. Its popping, two-fisted sound, built around three saxophones, two trumpets and a trombone, is blunt, pushy and hard-edge.
The show is a remembrance of Mr. Hines’s showbiz forerunners, including Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and most of all Nat King Cole. Although Mr. Hines’s soft, light voice is the opposite of Williams’s hyper-virile bark, Mr. Hines imparted a goodly amount of energy to “Every Day I Have the Blues,” Williams’s signature hit with Count Basie, without barging into uncomfortable territory.
Mr. Hines belongs to a rhythmic dynasty that included his father, Maurice Hines Sr., a drummer, who died two years ago, and his younger brother, Gregory, who died in 2003. At one time they were a trio, Hines, Hines & Dad.
Read more: NY Times