Thursday, April 05, 2012
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hank Jones
Song:The Very Thought Of You
Album:Live At Maybeck Recital Hall Vol. 16
Jazz pianist Hank Jones was the oldest and least famous of the three Jones brothers who were all prominent jazz musicians. For most of his career, Jones was a very busy and reliable sideman. Later in life, he became more active as a recording artist and toured regularly until his 2010 death. He was born July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, MS and grew up in Pontiac, MI. His father was a Baptist deacon and lumber inspector. Jones was the oldest of seven children. His mom sang so all seven kids took piano lessons. His brothers were trumpeter Thad Jones, best known as leader of The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. And drummer Elvin Jones, best known as part of the John Coltrane Quartet from 1960-66. He is considered to be one of the all time jazz greats. Hank Jones studied piano and listened to Earl Hines, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. By age 13, he was playing gigs locally. His big break came when he met Lucky Thompson in 1944 and he moved to New York to join his band. He toured with Jazz At The Philharmonic and accompanied Ella Fitzgerald from 1948-53. He also recorded with Charlie Parker. He recorded several albums for Savoy Records and was the house pianist there for several years. From 1959 to 1975, Jones was house pianist at CBS Studios accompanying anyone who recorded there including backing performers on The Ed Sullivan Show. Hank Jones played piano when Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. Jones continued to record as a sideman and leader through the 70s. He was also musical director of the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin'. The Very Thought Of You was first written and recorded by Ray Noble in 1934 and was a hit for Bing Crosby and later Vaughn Monroe. Jones first recorded it in 1976 on a solo piano album he recorded for Arista. That album is only available in Japan. This version was recorded in 1992 as part of a series of solo piano albums recorded by Concord Jazz at Maybeck Recital Hall in Berkeley, CA. Hank Jones has received many awards including the NEA Jazz Masters in 1989, the ASCAP Jazz Living Legend in 2003, the National Medal Of Arts in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2009. Hank Jones remained in demand as a senior and had just returned from a tour of Japan when he died on May 16, 2010 at age 91. Hank Jones was never flashy but he was very reliable and jazz fans should check him out. Here's Hank Jones performing The Very Thought Of You Berne, Switzerland probably in the 80s.