Thursday, May 20, 2010


It's been a hectic few days so I'm just catching up to some recent events including the passing of the great Hank Jones, one of the most underrated giants of jazz. Or maybe not so much underrated as under acclaimed. His brothers Elvin and Thad both received many more accolades for their contributions to jazz than Hank did. But there was no pianist I can think of who could bring more sheer pleasure to the listening experience.

My all time favorite LP of his was the one he did with bassist Charlie Haden called STEAL AWAY, a collection of "Spirituals, Hymns and Folk Songs" recorded so well the sound seems as pure as any on a recording since Miles' KINDA BLUE. The resonance of Haden's bass against Jones's mellifluous renderings of such basic tunes they feel eternal, well it brought tears to my eyes the first time I listened to it when it came out back in the '90s when Jones was merely in his seventies.

That's the other remarkable accomplishment of his, surviving so long with his talent not just intact but still blossoming. May we all be so fortunate.

[Here's links to his obit in the LA Times and the NY Times.]

Here's a clip of Jones performing solo in 1994:


AlamedaTom said...

Loved Hank.

Thanks for the clip.

(I see that you've mastered the art of including YouTube video clips in your posts. Nice!)

~ Willy

Tore Claesson said...

so i reckon we will see more clips going forward.
beautiful piano music.