Monday, May 17, 2010

Hank Jones (1918–2010)

[U]nlike his younger brothers Thad, who played trumpet with Count Basie and was later a co-leader of a celebrated big band, and Elvin, an influential drummer who formed a successful combo after six years with John Coltrane’s innovative quartet, Mr. Jones seemed content for many years to keep a low profile.

That started changing around the time he turned 60.

Hank Jones, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Dies at 91 (New York Times)
Hank Jones was a brilliant pianist. If I had to choose one recording to recommend: Steal Away: Spirituals, Hymns and Folk Songs, with bassist Charlie Haden (Verve, 1995). For now, here is one small sample of Jones alone, a performance of Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.”

My dad the tileman (and jazz fan) once did some work in Jones’s northern New Jersey house and got to hear him practice all day.

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