Hank Jones

Henry " Hank " Jones ( born July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, † 16 May, 2010 New York City ) was an American jazz pianist.

Life and work

The son of a Baptist preacher and elder brother of Thad and Elvin Jones grew up in Pontiac on in Michigan, where he began piano lessons. Since he was thirteen, he joined with local bands in Michigan and Ohio. Here he fell to the saxophonist Lucky Thompson, who in 1944 a job in the band of Hot Lips Page in New York gave him that occurred in the 52nd Street at Onyx Club. In addition, he worked with Charlie Parker, John Kirby, Howard McGhee, Buster Bailey, Coleman Hawkins, Andy Kirk, and Billy Eckstine. His influences were the more traditional playing styles of the 1930s: the stride piano Fats Waller as well as the play of Earl Hines and Teddy Wilson; yet he was in the break between swing and bebop for years coveted sideman.

After a tour in 1947 with Norman Granz ' Jazz at the Philharmonic he was a pianist by Ella Fitzgerald, with whom he worked until 1953. In 1950, he starred in Granz ' film music improvisation with, inter alia, as a companion of Lester Young and Charlie Parker. In the 1950s he worked with musicians such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Milt Jackson and Cannonball Adderley. In 1956 he participated in Quincy Jones ' debut album, This Is How I Feel About Jazz. From 1959 to 1976 he was a studio musician with Columbia Records. Jones has been heard on countless recordings for the Savoy label and other labels, toured with Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, played with Cannonball Adderley, as well as with Lester Young. In May 1962 he accompanied Marilyn Monroe in her famous birthday song for John F. Kennedy ( "Happy Birthday Mr. President " ) at Madison Square Garden. He worked next to it as a pianist for productions such as The Ed Sullivan Show, where he accompanied such stars as Frank Sinatra.

1966 Jones was the first pianist of the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra, he also was a member of the Great Jazz Trio, which over time Ron Carter, Buster Williams and Eddie Gomez bass and Tony Williams, Al Foster and Jimmy Cobb on drums belonged.

Mid-1970s, he became the freelance musician again and played in a trio with Ron Carter and Tony Williams. In 1978 he played in the band of the Broadway musical show Is not Misbehavin '; he was a pianist and artistic director of the band, a week on Wednesdays and Sundays and also appeared on six evenings to afternoon union ideas. It was not until the age of sixty he began in the early 1980s, a career as a soloist.

Over the years he played more than a thousand recordings as a sideman and bandleader in virtually every major jazz labels in the United States. 2009 was the musician a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. Hank Jones gave master classes at numerous American universities and at the Osaka College.

Jones took until shortly before his death in the hospice of the Calvary Hospital regularly as a soloist and still on the the New York jazz club Birdland program.


In his obituary Andrian Kreyenfeld praised in the SZ the pianist as the "ideal companion. With his unerring instinct for the suspense of a soloist he could be grounded jazz bands of all sizes with gentle harmonies or purposeful accents bring to boil. "

Recordings (selection)

  • Urbanity, 1947
  • Bluebird, 1955 ( Savoy Records)
  • Somethin 'Else, 1958
  • The Talented Touch, 1966
  • Hanky ​​Panky 1975
  • Arigato, 1976
  • Solo Piano, 1976
  • Bop Redux, 1977
  • Rockin ' in Rhythm, 1977
  • Just for Fun 1977
  • Tiptoe Tapdance, 1977
  • Is not Misbehavin ', 1978
  • In Japan, 1979
  • Hank Jones - Red Mitchell Duo, 1987
  • Lazy Afternoon, 1989
  • The Oracle 1989
  • Hank Jones Trio with Mads Vinding and Al Foster, 1991
  • A Handful of Keys: The Music of Thomas " Fats" Waller, 1992
  • Upon Reflection: The Music Of Thad Jones with Elvin Jones
  • Sarala, Gitanes 1995 ( with Cheick Tidiane Seck - and Mandikas he plays Arabic Mandinkamusik )
  • Master Class, 1997
  • Favors 1997
  • I Remember You, 2002
  • Bluesette, 1979/2002
  • The Trio, 1977/2003
  • For My Father, 2005
  • Hank and Frank, 2006
  • Hank and Frank II, 2009 ( with Frank Wess, Marion Cowings )
  • Come Sunday, 2010 ( with Charlie Haden )