Roland Hanna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roland Hanna
Roland Hanna with Ed Wiley, 2001
Roland Hanna with Ed Wiley, 2001
Background information
Birth nameRoland Pembroke Hanna
Born(1932-02-10)February 10, 1932
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedNovember 13, 2002(2002-11-13) (aged 70)
Hackensack, New Jersey
GenresJazz, avant-garde, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, bandleader
InstrumentsPiano, electric piano, cello

Roland Pembroke Hanna (February 10, 1932 – November 13, 2002) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and teacher.[1]


Hanna studied classical piano from the age of 11, but was strongly interested in jazz, having been introduced to it by his friend, pianist Tommy Flanagan.[2] This interest increased after his time in military service (1950–1952). He studied briefly at the Eastman School of Music in 1953 and then enrolled at the Juilliard School when he moved to New York City two years later.[2] He worked with several big names in the 1950s, including Benny Goodman and Charles Mingus, and graduated in 1960.[2] Between 1963 and 1966, Hanna led his own trio, then from 1966 to 1974 he was a regular member of The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.[2] Hanna also toured the Soviet Union with the orchestra in 1972.[3] During the 1970s, he was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet.

Roland Hanna was in semi-retirement for most of the 1980s, though he played piano and wrote the song "Seasons" for Sarah Vaughan's 1982 album Crazy and Mixed Up, and returned to music later in the decade. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hanna was a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.[2] Around this time, he also began composing chamber and orchestral music; a ballet he wrote has also been performed.[3]

In 1970, Hanna was given an honorary knighthood by President William Tubman of Liberia in recognition of concerts he played in the country to raise money for education.[2][4] Thereafter, Hanna was often known as "Sir Roland Hanna." Hanna was a professor of jazz at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY) in Flushing, New York, and taught at several other music schools.[2] He was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.[5]

He died in Hackensack, New Jersey, of a viral infection of the heart, on November 13, 2002.[2]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1959 Destry Rides Again ATCO Trio/Quartet with George Duvivier, Roy Burns and Kenny Burrell[6]
1959 Easy to Love ATCO Trio with Ben Tucker and Roy Burns[6]
1971 Child of Gemini MPS Trio with Dave Holland and Daniel Humair[7]
1973 The New Heritage Keyboard Quartet Blue Note As The New Heritage Keyboard Quartet with Mickey Tucker, Richard Davis and Eddie Gladden
1973 Sir Elf: Choice Solo piano[8]
1974 Let It Happen RCA As The Jazz Piano Quartet with Dick Hyman, Hank Jones and Marian McPartland
1973 - 1974 Walkin' Jazz Hour Trio with George Mraz and Mel Lewis, Quartet with the trio plus Stéphane Grappelli
1974 Perugia Freedom Solo piano; in concert[9]
1974 Informal Solo Hi-Fly Solo piano
1974 1 X 1 Toho (Japan) Duo with George Mraz
1976 Porgy & Bess Trio (Japan) Duo with George Mraz
1976 24 Preludes Book 1 Salvation (Japan) Solo piano/Duo with George Mraz
1976 Roland Hanna Trio Salvation (Japan) Trio with Ron Carter and Ben Riley
1977 Time for the Dancers Progressive Trio with George Mraz and Richard Pratt - also released as At Home with Friends
1977 Sir Elf Plus 1 Choice Solo piano/Duo with George Mraz[8]
1977 Glove Trio (Japan) Trio with George Mraz and Motohiko Hino[10]
1977 24 Preludes Book 2 Salvation (Japan) Solo piano/Duo with George Mraz
1978 Roland Hanna Plays the Music of Alec Wilder Inner City Solo piano
1978 This Must Be Love Progressive Trio with George Mraz and Ben Riley[11]
1978 Rolandscape Progressive Trio with George Mraz and Ben Riley
1978 Bird Tracks Progressive Solo piano[12]
1978 Roland Hanna and George Mraz Play for Monk Musical Heritage Society Duo with George Mraz[13]
1978 A Gift from the Magi West 54 Solo piano[14]
1979 Swing Me No Waltzes Storyville Solo piano[12]
1979 Trinity L+R Trio with Hans Koller and Attila Zoller
1979 Piano Soliloquy L+R Solo piano[10]
1979 Impressions Black & Blue Trio with Major Holley and Alan Dawson[9] - also released as Lover Come Back to Me from NORMA
1979 Och Jungfrun Gick Åt Killan... Sonet Solo piano
1979 Sunrise, Sunset Lob (Japan) Duo with George Mraz
1982 Romanesque Trio (Japan) Duo with George Mraz[10]
1982 Gershwin Carmichael Cats CTI Duo/Trio/Quartet/Quintet/Sextet/Dectet[15]
1987? Manhattan Christmas Fun House Solo piano
1987 Round Midnight Town Crier Recordings Solo piano[6]
1987 This Time It's Real - Live At Slukefter-Tivoli Gardens Storyville Quartet with Jesper Thilo, Mads Winding and Aage Tanggaard; in concert[9]
1987 Persia My Dear DIW Trio with Richard Davis and Freddie Waits[9]
1988 The Bar Fun House Trio with Clint Houston and Lewis Nash
1990 Duke Ellington Piano Solos MusicMasters Solo piano[9]
1990 Memoir Century (Japan) Duo with Eiji Nakayama
1993 Sir Roland Hanna Quartet Plays Gershwin LRC/Laserlight[6] Quartet with Bill Easley, Jon Burr and Ronnie Burrage
1993 Maybeck Recital Hall Series, Volume Thirty-Two Concord Solo piano; in concert[9]
1994? Jazz Sonatas Angel Duo with Dick Hyman and Quartet with chamber trio
1996 3 for All Cymekob Enterprises Trio with Bucky Pizzarelli and Jon Burr
1996 Hush A Bye What'sNew (Japan) Trio with Eiji Nakayama and Seiji Komatsu
1997 The Three Black Kings Jazz Friends Productions Trio with Richard Davis and Andrew Cyrille
1998? Family & Friends Prestige Elite with Michael Hanna(Vo.)
1998? I Love Be-Bop Rahanna Music Trio with Yoshio Aomori(b) and Cris Roselli(ds)
1998 Royal Essence: An Evening of Ellington Jazzmont Duo with Davey Yarborough; in concert
1995 Ancestral Light Red Earth Jazz Duo with George Mraz
2001 Dream Venus Trio with Paul West and Eddie Locke (drums)[16][17]
2002 Milano, Paris, New York: Finding John Lewis Venus Trio with George Mraz and Lewis Nash[18]
2002 Everything I Love IPO Solo piano[6]
2002 I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues IPO Duo with Carrie Smith[6]
2002 Tributaries: Reflections on Tommy Flanagan IPO Solo piano[6]
2002 Après Un Rêve Venus Trio with Ron Carter and Grady Tate[18]
2002 Last Concert What's New (Japan) Duo with Eiji Nakayama, Duo with Mihoko Hazama, trio with Eiji Nakayama and Mihoko Hazama; in concert


  • Colors from a Giant's Kit (IPO)

With the New York Jazz Quartet[edit]

With Mingus Dynasty[edit]

  • Live At Montreux (Atlantic 1981)
  • Reincarnation (Soul Note 1982)
  • Mingus' Sounds Of Love (Soul Note 1988)
  • Live At The Village Vanguard (Storyville 1989)
  • Epitaph (Charles Mingus composition) (As Mingus) (Columbia 1990)

As sideman[edit]

With Pepper Adams

With Gene Ammons

With George Benson

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

With Ruth Brown

With Kenny Burrell

With Benny Carter

With Ron Carter

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Richard Davis

With Eddie Daniels

With Jon Faddis and Billy Harper

With Stéphane Grappelli

  • Meets the Rhythm Section (1973)

With John Handy

With Jimmy Heath

With Al Hibbler

With Freddie Hubbard

With Elvin Jones

With Jim Hall

With Miriam Klein

  • By Myself (L+R, 1979)

With Jimmy Knepper

With Hubert Laws

With Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

  • Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – Jazz At Lincoln Center: They Came To Swing (Sony, 1992)

With Herbie Mann

With Les McCann

With Charles Mingus

With Frank Morgan

With Idris Muhammad

With Ray Nance

With Kwame Nkrumah

  • The Ninth Son (Columbia, 1969)

With Seldon Powell

  • Seldon Powell Sextet Featuring Jimmy Cleveland (Roost 1956)

With Red Rodney

With Don Sebesky

With Louis Smith (musician)

  • Prancin (Steeple Chase 1979)

With Sonny Stitt

With Stanley Turrentine

With Phil Woods


  1. ^ "Roland Hanna | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Keepnews, Peter (November 15, 2002) "Roland Hanna, a Jazz Pianist and Composer, Dies at 70". New York Times
  3. ^ a b Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, p. 292, Oxford University Press
  4. ^ Stryker, Mark (2019-07-08). Jazz from Detroit. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-12591-3.
  5. ^ Wilson, John S. "Jazz Pianist Sees the Stardom at End of Tunnel", The New York Times, June 1, 1975. Accessed June 28, 2019. "Then last June, the Thad Jones‐Mel Lewis Band, which plays every Monday night at the Village Vanguard in New York, suddenly lost its pianist, Roland Hanna of Teaneck, who left to form his own group."
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 647. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  7. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Roland Hanna: Child of Gemini". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Roland Hanna: Sir Elf (1977)". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. pp. 577–578. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
  10. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP & Cassette (1st ed.). Penguin. p. 477. ISBN 978-0-14-015364-4.
  11. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Roland Hanna: This Must Be Love". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2004). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (7th ed.). Penguin. pp. 717–718. ISBN 978-0-14-101416-6.
  13. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Roland Hanna: Play for Monk". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Roland Hanna: A Gift from the Magi". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  15. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Roland Hanna: Gershwin Carmichael Cats". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  16. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Roland Hanna: Dream". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  17. ^ "VHCD-2054". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "VHCD-2031". Retrieved December 20, 2018.

External links[edit]