I found the perfect tonic for the sadness of the recent passing of so many great artists: I got out and saw a living legend! Jazz pianist Hank Jones has been performing since the mid-1940s alongside so many other greats of the Modern Jazz Era. In addition to early stints with Jazz at the Philharmonic and associations with both Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald, Jones held down something of "house pianist" chair at Savoy Records in the 1950s, while at the same time maintaining a staff job at CBS. Needless to say, he is on more great records than one can almost imagine (take a look through your stack to see for yourself).
Last week Jones showed himself to be the consummate trio pianist of that era, but in no way tied down by history. I am still savoring what he offered musical and to see him perform alongside Jon Clayton and Clayton Cameron was a rare treat. New Yorkers should be sure to keep their eyes on the Iridium calendar as he performer there March 11-15 with another top-notch group.
Here's a clip of a nice, intimate portrait of Jones taking about his early days and "bebop"...
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