The Jazz.com Blog
July 30, 2008 · 0 comments
Hank Jones celebrates his 90th birthday tomorrow. Tonight he is (no surprise) working on the road . . . at the Hollywood Bowl, where Jones shares the stage with Gerald Wilson. Wilson is a comparative youngster Ė he doesnít turn ninety for another five weeks. But the marketing department couldnít resist a newsworthy angle, and are promoting this event as the ď90 + 90Ē concert. I wonít quibble.
The first jazz recordings were made only a year before Jones was born, and this artist's personal history is almost a chronicle of the evolution of the art form. A list of the musicians Jones has accompanied on record is virtually a Whoís Who of jazz, and includes Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Artie Shaw, Anthony Braxton and several hundred other names that would be familiar to jazz fans. And the great collaborations continue to the present day, with Jones working his magic alongside Joe Lovano, Roberta Gambarini and other current day stars. No other living jazz musician has more illustrious associations.
The range of these associations testifies more eloquently than anything I could say to Jonesí ability to fit perfectly into any setting. Itís one thing to work with Bird and Dizzy, and quite another to get hired by Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Getting the call from Lady Day and Ella is impressive, but to also do dates with Anthony Braxton and Charlie Haden is another thing entirely. Jones crossed divides between swing and bop, new thing and pop, that most players of his generation found to be insurmountable.
We could never do justice to such a diverse career in a short article. After all, this artist has participated on around one thousand recording sessions since his early dates with Andy Kirk and Hot Lips Page back during World War II. But below are a few of the tracks featuring Jones, in either a leading or supporting role, that have been reviewed at jazz.com.
Hank Jones (with Charlie Parker): Star Eyes
Hank Jones (with Lucky Thompson): Deep Passion
Hank Jones (with Kenny Dorham & Sonny Rollins): Iíll Remember April
Hank Jones (with Curtis Fuller): What Is This Thing Called Love
Hank Jones (with Cannonball Adderley & Miles Davis): Love for Sale
Hank Jones (with John Coltrane & Milt Jackson): Three Little Words
Hank Jones (with Wes Montgomery): One for My Baby
Hank Jones (with Rahsaan Roland Kirk): You Did It, You Did It
Hank Jones (with Anita O'Day): I Want to Sing a Song
Hank Jones (with Johnny Hartman): These Foolish Things
Hank Jones (with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band): Big Dipper
Hank Jones (with Tal Farlow): Fascinating Rhythm
Hank Jones (solo piano): I Guess Iíll Have to Change My Plan
Hank Jones (with Charlie Haden): Wade in the Water
Hank Jones with Cheick-Tidiane Seck: Sarala
Hank Jones (with Joe Lovano): Iím All For You
Hank Jones with Joe Lovano: Alone Together
Hank Jones (with bass and drums): Bemsha Swing
Hank Jones (with Roberta Gambarini: Lush Life
Site visitors are also encouraged to check out arnold jay smithís interview with Jones, published as part of jazz.comís OctoJAZZarians series.
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia.