"Old good music can never be bad, and bad new music can never become good," Hampton Hawes wrote in his notes for this album. Recorded in 1966, the music in The Seance proves the first half of Hamp’s axiom; it is as good, fresh, and exciting as the day it was captured on tape. Working with his favorite bassist, Red Mitchell, and the astonishing drummer Donald Bailey, the pianist recorded during his celebrated nine-month engagement at the lamented Mitchell’s Studio Club in Los Angeles. The album captures Hawes as he was beginning judiciously to explore some of the new freedom in jazz. His chord structures were opening up, his time becoming more flexible. None of those changes detracted from his essential qualities of swing, warmth, and inventiveness.