Skip to comments.Hank Jones, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 91
Posted on 05/18/2010 11:39:00 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Hank Jones, whose self-effacing nature belied his stature as one of the most respected jazz pianists of the postwar era, died on Sunday in the Bronx. He was 91.
His death, at Calvary Hospital Hospice, was announced by his longtime manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc. Mr. Jones lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and also had a home in Hartwick, N.Y.
Mr. Jones spent much of his career in the background. For three and a half decades he was primarily a sideman, most notably with Ella Fitzgerald; for much of that time he also worked as a studio musician on radio and television.
His fellow musicians admired his imagination, his versatility and his distinctive style, which blended the urbanity and rhythmic drive of the Harlem stride pianists, the dexterity of Art Tatum and the harmonic daring of bebop. (The pianist, composer and conductor André Previn once called Mr. Jones his favorite pianist, regardless of idiom.)
But unlike 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 Coltranes innovative quartet, Hank Jones seemed content for many years to keep a low profile.
That started changing around the time he turned 60. Riding a wave of renewed interest in jazz piano that also transformed his close friend and occasional duet partner Tommy Flanagan from a perpetual sideman to a popular nightclub headliner, Mr. Jones began working and recording regularly under his own name.
Reviewing a nightclub appearance in 1989, Peter Watrous of The New York Times praised Mr. Jones as an extraordinary musician whose playing resonates with jazz history and who embodies the idea of grace under pressure, where assurance and relaxation mask nearly impossible improvisations.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Prayers go out to his family and friends. Sounds like the kind of man where almost everyone has heard his work, but few could recognize him.
About your tag line. Amber Lamps wasn’t around for very long, was she?
Nope, she sure wasn’t.