Jones at the Newport Jazz Festival, 2005
July 31, 1918|
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||May 16, 2010
Bronx, New York
|Labels||Verve, Savoy, Epic, Capitol, Argo, Impulse, Concord, Chesky, Sony|
|Associated acts||Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Haden, Nancy Wilson, Charlie Parker, Salena Jones, Roberta Gambarini|
Henry "Hank" Jones Jr. (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010) was an American jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Critics and musicians described Jones as eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable. In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award. He was also honored in 2003 with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award. In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. On April 13, 2009, the University of Hartford presented Jones with a Doctorate Degree for his musical accomplishments.
Jones recorded more than 60 albums under his own name, and countless others as a sideman, 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.
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. 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.
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. In autumn 1947, he began touring in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic package, and from 1948 to 1953 he was accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald, and accompanying her in England in the Fall of 1948, 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.
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. This included backing guests such as Frank Sinatra on The Ed Sullivan Show. He played the piano accompaniment to Marilyn Monroe as she sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. 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.
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).
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.
Awards and recognitions
- Grammy history
- Career Wins: 2009: Lifetime Achievement Grammy
- Career Nominations: 5
|Hank Jones Grammy Awards History|
|1977||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Soloist||"Bop Redux"||Jazz||Muse||Nominee|
|1980||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Soloist||"I Remember You"||Jazz||Black & Blue||Nominee|
|1980||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Group||"I Remember You"||Jazz||Black & Blue||Nominee|
|1995||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||"Go Down Moses"||Jazz||Verve||Nominee|
|1995||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Individual or Group||"Steal Away"||Jazz||Verve||Nominee|
|1955||The Trio||Trio with Wendell Marshall and Kenny Clarke||Savoy|
|1955||Quartet-Quintet||Quartet/Quintet with Donald Byrd, Eddie Jones, Kenny Clarke + Matty Dice||Savoy|
|1955||Bluebird||Quartet/Quintet with Wendell Marshall/Eddie Jones, Kenny Clarke + Herbie Mann/Jerome Richardson/Donald Byrd and Matty Dice/Joe Wilder||Savoy|
|1956||Have You Met Hank Jones||Solo piano||Savoy|
|1956||Hank Jones' Quartet||Quartet with Bobby Jaspar, Paul Chambers and Kenny Clarke||Savoy|
|1958||Gigi||Quartet with Barry Galbraith, Arnold Fishkin, Donald Lamond||Golden Crest|
|1958||The Talented Touch||Quartet with Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson||Capitol|
|1958||Porgy and Bess||Quartet with Kenny Burrell, Milt Hinton, Elvin Jones||Capitol|
|1963||Here's Love||Quartet with Kenny Burrell, Milt Hinton, Elvin Jones||Argo|
|1964||This Is Ragtime Now!||Trio with Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson||ABC-Paramount|
|1966||Happenings||with Oliver Nelson and Orchestra||Impulse!|
|1975||Hanky Panky||Trio with Ron Carter and Grady Tate||East Wind|
|1976||Satin Doll: Dedicated to Duke Ellington||Solo Piano||Trio|
|1976||Jones-Brown-Smith||Trio with Ray Brown and Jimmie Smith||Concord Jazz|
|1976||Arigato||Trio/Quartet with Richard Davis/Jay Leonhart, Ronnie Bedford + Ray Rivera,||Progressive|
|1977||Bop Redux||Trio with George Duvivier and Ben Riley||Muse|
|1977||Just for Fun||Trio/Quartet with Ray Brown, Shelly Manne + Howard Roberts||Galaxy|
|1977||I Remember You||Trio with George Duvivier and Oliver Jackson||Black & Blue|
|1977||Have You Met This Jones?||Trio with Isla Eckinger and Kurt Bong||MPS|
|1977||The Trio||Trio with Milt Hinton and Bob Rosengarden||Chiaroscuro|
|1977-78||Tiptoe Tapdance||Solo piano||Galaxy|
|1978||Groovin' High||Quintet with Sam Jones, Mickey Roker, Thad Jones, and Charlie Rouse||Muse|
|1978||Our Delights||Piano duo with Tommy Flanagan||Galaxy|
|1978||More Delights||Piano duo with Tommy Flanagan||Galaxy|
|1978||Compassion||Trio with George Duvivier and Alan Dawson||Black & Blue|
|1978||Ain't Misbehavin'||Trio/Sextet with Richard Davis, Roy Haynes + Bob Ojeda, Teddy Edwards, and Kenny Burrell||Galaxy|
|1979||Easy to Love||Trio with George Duvivier, Shelly Manne||Lobster|
|1979||Hank Jones Trio Live in Japan||Trio with George Duvivier, Shelly Manne||Trio|
|1979||Trio 1979 Discoveries||Trio with George Duvivier, Shelly Manne||55|
|1979||Bluesette||Trio with George Duvivier, Alan Dawson||Black & Blue|
|1983||I'm All Smiles||Piano duo with Tommy Flanagan||MPS|
|1985||Great Jazz Quartet Live in Japan||Quartet with Sam Most, Ray Brown, Alan Dawson||TDK|
|1987||Duo||Duo with Red Mitchell||Timeless|
|1988||The Spirit of 176||Duo with George Shearing||Concord|
|1989||The Oracle||Trio with Dave Holland, Billy Higgins||EmArcy|
|1989||Lazy Afternoon||Quartet with Ken Peplowski, Dave Holland, Keith Copeland||Concord Jazz|
|1990||Hank Jones with the Meridian String Quartet||With the Meridian String Quartet conducted by Manny Albam||LRC|
|1991||Hank Jones Trio with Mads Vinding & Al Foster||Trio with Mads Vinding, Al Foster||Storyville|
|1991||Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Volume Sixteen||Solo piano||Concord|
|1992||When There Is Love||Duo with Abbey Lincoln||Verve|
|1993||Upon Reflection: The Music of Thad Jones||Trio with George Mraz, Elvin Jones||Verve|
|1995||Steal Away||Duo with Charlie Haden||Verve|
|2004||'Round Midnight||Solo piano||Eighty-Eight's|
|2004||For My Father||Trio with George Mraz, Dennis Mackrel||Justin Time|
|2005||My Funny Valentine||Sony/CBS|
|2006||Kids: Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola||Duo with Joe Lovano||Blue Note|
|2006||West of 5th||With Jimmy Cobb and Christian McBride||Chesky|
|2006||Hank and Frank||Lineage|
|2009||Hank and Frank II||Frank Wess, Ilya Lushtak, Marion Cowings, John Webber, and Mickey Roker.||Lineage|
|2009||Pleased to Meet You||Oliver Jones, Brandi Disterheft and Jim Doxas||Justin Time|
|2009||Trio Hank Jones||George Mraz, Willie Jones||Multisonic|
|2012||Come Sunday||Duo with Charlie Haden||EmArcy|
With Great Jazz Trio
|1976||I'm Old Fashioned||with Sadao Watanabe, Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1976||Love for Sale||with Buster Williams, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1977||The Great Jazz Trio at the Village Vanguard||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1977||The Great Jazz Trio at the Village Vanguard Vol. 2||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1977||The Great Jazz Trio at the Village Vanguard Again||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind (released 2000)|
|1977||Bird of Paradise||with Sadao Watanabe, Ron Carter, Tony Williams||Flying Disk|
|1977||Kindness Joy Love & Happiness||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1977||Direct from L.A.||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1978||Milestones||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1978||New Wine in Old Bottles||with Jackie McLean, Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1978||The Great Tokyo Meeting||with Ron Carter, Tony Williams||East Wind|
|1980||Chapter II||with Eddie Gómez, Al Foster||East Wind|
|1980||Moreover||with Eddie Gómez, Al Foster||East Wind|
|1982||Threesome||with Eddie Gómez, Jimmy Cobb||Eastworld|
|1983||N.Y.Sophisticate: a Tribute to Duke Ellington||with Eddie Gomez, Jimmy Cobb, The Strings Quartet||Denon|
|1984||Monk's Mood||with Eddie Gomez, Jimmy Cobb, Terumasa Hino||Denon|
|2003||Autumn Leaves||with Elvin Jones (drums), Richard Davis (bass)||441 Records|
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved May 2010
- 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.
- National Endowment for the Arts: Henry "Hank" Jones
- 2003 ASCAP Jazz Living Legend Award
- Jazz Review: Hank Jones
- "Hank Jones: The Man Who Accompanied Marilyn", The Marilyn Monrow Collection Blog, February 4, 2009.
- Henry "Hank" Jones bio
- Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, 1995, p. 2206. ISBN 1-56159-176-9
- Feather, Leonard. Inside Jazz, Da Capo Press, 1988, p. 89. ISBN 0-306-80076-4
- "Interview: 90-Year-Old Jazz Pianist Hank Jones", Village Voice, November 11, 2008.
- Harvard: Hank Jones
- Peter Keepnews, "Hank Jones, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 91", New York Times, May 17, 2010.
- Grammy Awards Database for Hank Jones
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hank Jones.|
- Official website
- Hank Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- Hank Jones complete discography
- Arnold Jay Smith, "Profile: Hank Jones", Jazz.com.
- Peter Keepnews, "Hank Jones, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 91", New York Times, May 17, 2010.
- "Magic Numbers: Hank Jones, Ron Carter, Tony Williams" by Ethan Iverson.