Hank Jones

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Hank Jones
Hank Jones.jpg
Jones at the Newport Jazz Festival, 2005
Background information
Birth nameHenry Jones
Born(1918-07-31)July 31, 1918
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 2010(2010-05-16) (aged 91)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsPiano
Years active1944–2010
Labels Verve, Savoy, Epic, Capitol, Argo, Impulse, Concord, Chesky, Sony
Associated acts Ella Fitzgerald, Emily Remler, Charlie Haden, Nancy Wilson, Charlie Parker, Salena Jones, Roberta Gambarini
Website officialhankjones.com

Henry Jones Jr. (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010), [1] best known as Hank Jones, was an American jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Critics and musicians described Jones as eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable. [2] In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award. [3] He was also honored in 2003 with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award. [4] In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. On April 13, 2009, the University of Hartford presented Jones with an honorary Doctorate of Music for his musical accomplishments. [5]

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA has its offices in Washington, D.C. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), every year honors up to seven jazz musicians with Jazz Master Awards. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowships are the self-proclaimed highest honors that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians. The award is usually given late in a performer's career after they have long established themselves.

Contents

Jones recorded more than 60 albums under his own name, and countless others as a sideman, [6] including Cannonball Adderley's celebrated album Somethin' Else . On May 19, 1962, he played piano as actress Marilyn Monroe sang her famous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" song to then U.S. president John F. Kennedy. [7]

Cannonball Adderley American jazz alto saxophonist

Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley was an American jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.

<i>Somethin Else</i> (Cannonball Adderley album) 1958 studio album by Cannonball Adderley

Somethin' Else is a jazz album by saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, released on Blue Note Records in 1958. Also on the session is trumpeter Miles Davis in one of his handful of recording dates for Blue Note. Adderley was a member of Davis' group at the time this album was recorded. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection."

Marilyn Monroe American actress, model, and singer

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and was emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962. More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon.

Biography

Hank Jones at Monterey Jazz Festival September 22, 1985 Hank Jones MJF.jpg
Hank Jones at Monterey Jazz Festival September 22, 1985

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Henry "Hank" Jones moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where his father, Henry Jones Sr. a Baptist deacon and lumber inspector, bought a three-story brick home. One of seven children, Jones was raised in a musical family. His mother Olivia Jones sang; his two older sisters studied piano; and his two younger brothers—Thad, a trumpeter, and Elvin, a drummer—also became prominent jazz musicians. [8] He studied piano at an early age and came under the influence of Earl Hines, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and Art Tatum. By the age of 13 Jones was performing locally in Michigan and Ohio. While playing with territory bands in Grand Rapids and Lansing in 1944 he met Lucky Thompson, who invited Jones to work in New York City at the Onyx Club with Hot Lips Page. [9] [10]

Vicksburg, Mississippi City in Mississippi, United States

Vicksburg is the only city in, and county seat of, Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (64 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from the state of Louisiana.

Pontiac, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Pontiac is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located in Metro Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County and about 12 miles (19 km) north and slightly west of the Detroit city limits.

Thad Jones American jazz trumpeter

Thaddeus Joseph Jones was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader who has been called "one of the all-time greatest jazz trumpet soloists."

In New York City, Jones regularly listened to leading bop musicians, and was inspired to master the new style. While practicing and studying the music he worked with John Kirby, Howard McGhee, Coleman Hawkins, Andy Kirk, and Billy Eckstine. [10] In autumn 1947, he began touring in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic package, [10] and from 1948 to 1953 he was accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald, and accompanying her in England in the fall of 1948, [11] developed a harmonic facility of extraordinary taste and sophistication. During this period he also made several historically important recordings with Charlie Parker, which included "The Song Is You", from the Now's the Time album, recorded in December 1952, with Teddy Kotick on bass and Max Roach on drums.

Bebop style of jazz

Bebop or bop is a style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the United States, which features songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, the use of scales and occasional references to the melody.

John Kirby (musician) jazz bassist

John Kirby, was a jazz double-bassist who also played trombone and tuba. In addition to sideman work, Kirby is remembered for leading a successful chamber jazz sextet in the late 1930s and early 1940s, which scored several hit songs including "Loch Lomond" and the debut recording of "Undecided", a jazz standard.

Howard McGhee American trumpeter

Howard McGhee was one of the first bebop jazz trumpeters, with Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Idrees Sulieman. He was known for his fast fingers and very high notes. What is generally not known is the influence that he had on younger hard bop trumpeters, with Fats Navarro.

Engagements with Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman followed, and recordings with artists such as Lester Young, Cannonball Adderley, and Wes Montgomery, in addition to being for a time, 'house pianist' on the Savoy label. From 1959 through 1975 Jones was staff pianist for CBS studios. [12] This included backing guests such as Frank Sinatra on The Ed Sullivan Show . [13] He played the piano accompaniment to Marilyn Monroe as she sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. [1] By the late 1970s, his involvement as pianist and conductor with the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' (based on the music of Fats Waller) had informed a wider audience of his unique qualities as a musician.

Artie Shaw American clarinetist, composer, and bandleader

Artie Shaw was an American clarinetist, composer, bandleader, and actor. Also an author, Shaw wrote both fiction and non-fiction.

Benny Goodman American jazz musician

Benjamin David Goodman was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing".

Lester Young American jazz tenor saxophonist and sometime clarinetist

Lester Willis Young, nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.

During the late 1970s and the 1980s, Jones continued to record prolifically, as an unaccompanied soloist, in duos with other pianists (including John Lewis and Tommy Flanagan), and with various small ensembles, most notably the Great Jazz Trio. The group took this name in 1976, by which time Jones had already begun working at the Village Vanguard with its original members, Ron Carter and Tony Williams (it was Buster Williams rather than Carter, however, who took part in the trio's first recording session in 1976); by 1980 Jones' sidemen were Eddie Gómez and Al Foster, and in 1982 Jimmy Cobb replaced Foster. The trio also recorded with other all-star personnel, such as Art Farmer, Benny Golson, and Nancy Wilson. In the early 1980s Jones held a residency as a solo pianist at the Cafe Ziegfeld and made a tour of Japan, where he performed and recorded with George Duvivier and Sonny Stitt. Jones' versatility was more in evidence with the passage of time. He collaborated on recordings of Afro-pop with an ensemble from Mali and on an album of spirituals, hymns and folksongs with Charlie Haden called Steal Away (1995).

John Lewis (pianist) American jazz pianist, composer and arranger

John Aaron Lewis was an American jazz pianist, composer and arranger, best known as the founder and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City

The Village Vanguard is a jazz club at Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village, New York City. The club was opened on February 22, 1935, by Max Gordon. At first, the club presented folk music and beat poetry, but it became a jazz venue in 1957.

Ron Carter American jazz bassist, cellist, and composer

Ronald Levin Carter is an American jazz double bassist. His appearances on 2,221 recording sessions make him the most-recorded jazz bassist in history.

Some of his later recordings are For My Father (2005) with bassist George Mraz and drummer Dennis Mackrel, a solo piano recording issued in Japan under the title Round Midnight (2006), and as a side man on Joe Lovano's Joyous Encounter (2005). Jones made his debut on Lineage Records, recording with Frank Wess and with the guitarist Eddie Diehl, but also appeared on West of 5th (2006) with Jimmy Cobb and Christian McBride on Chesky Records. He also accompanied Diana Krall for "Dream a Little Dream of Me" on the album compilation, We all Love Ella (Verve 2007). He is one of the musicians who test and talk about the piano in the documentary Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 , released in November 2007.

In early 2000, the Hank Jones Quartet accompanied jazz singer Salena Jones at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, and in 2006 at the Monterey Jazz Festival with both jazz singer Roberta Gambarini and the Oscar Peterson Trio.

In June 2005, Jones was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music at 20th anniversary of jazz education at the Umbria Jazz Festival, in Perugia, Italy. [14]

Hank Jones lived in Cresskill NJ, upstate New York and in Manhattan. He died at a Calvary Hospital Hospice in The Bronx, New York, on May 16, 2010, survived by his wife Theodosia. [15]

Awards and recognitions

Grammy history
Hank Jones Grammy Awards History
YearCategoryTitleGenreLabelResult
1977Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Soloist"Bop Redux"JazzMuseNominee
1980Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Soloist"I Remember You"JazzBlack & BlueNominee
1980Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Group"I Remember You"JazzBlack & BlueNominee
1995Best Jazz Instrumental Solo"Go Down Moses"JazzVerveNominee
1995Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Individual or Group"Steal Away"JazzVerveNominee

Discography

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References

  1. 1 2 Charlie. "The Dead Rock Stars Club January to June 2010". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  2. According to Arnold Jay Smith (in "The Impeccable Hank Jones", Down Beat, July 31, 1976), Jones was branded "the impeccable one" by WRVR-FM jazz historian Ed Beach.
  3. National Endowment for the Arts: Henry "Hank" Jones Archived October 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. Chuck Obuchowski (April 15, 2009). "Hank Jones Teaches A Lesson From The Piano". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  6. Jazz Review: Hank Jones Archived October 23, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Hank Jones: The Man Who Accompanied Marilyn", The Marilyn Monrow Collection Blog, February 4, 2009.
  8. "Henry "Hank" Jones bio". Enotes.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  9. Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, 1995, p. 2206. ISBN   1-56159-176-9
  10. 1 2 3 "Hank Jones facts, information, pictures". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  11. Feather, Leonard. Inside Jazz, Da Capo Press, 1988, p. 89. ISBN   0-306-80076-4
  12. "Interview: 90-Year-Old Jazz Pianist Hank Jones" Archived December 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine , Village Voice, November 11, 2008.
  13. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Hank Jones, Mccoy Tyner, Enrico Rava Honored by Berklee College of Music at Umbria Jazz". Home.nestor.minsk.by. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  15. Peter Keepnews, "Hank Jones, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 91", The New York Times , May 17, 2010.
  16. "The Envelope: Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider - Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.