Jones, Hank (actually, Henry)

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Jones, Hank (actually, Henry)

Jones, Hank (actually, Henry), jazz pianist; brother of Thad Jones and Elvin Jones; b. Vicksburg, Miss., July 31, 1918. His sparkling, lyrical gift is evident in his earliest recordings. He was taken in early childhood to Pontiac, Mich, where he studied piano with Pauline Frisbee (later known as the actress Carlotta Franzell). He played gigs while in high school, prior to working in bands in Mich, and Ohio. In 1944 he went to N.Y., where he worked with Hot Lips Page, Andy Kirk, and John Kirby (1945). In 1947, he began long series of tours with “Jazz at the Philharmonic” (including European trips in the 1950s).

From 1948-53, he was Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist; at the same time, he recorded with various artists, including Charlie Parker in 1950. During the late 1950s, he worked on-and-off with Benny Goodman, including a tour of the Orient (1956–57). From 1959-76 he was a staff musician for CBS; during this period also did countless freelance recordings, and also worked in Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band (1966) and did some touring. In 1976-77, he toured and recorded as part of the Great Jazz Trio. He was a pianist and conductor for the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehaviri’, based on the music of Fats Waller. He has led his own trio and continues to do prolific freelance work. Through the 1990s, he has made innumerable recordings in countless settings (solo, trio, combo backup for vocalists, etc.). He won the Three Key Award from Int. Jazz Festival of Bern, Switzerland, in 1997.


Hank Jones Piano (1950); Trio (1955); Hank Jones Quartet/Quintet (1955); Bluebird (1955); Trio with Guests (1956); Relaxin’ at Camarillo (1956); Have You Met Hank Jones? (1956); Hank Jones Quartet (1956); Talented Touch (1958); Hank Jones Swings “Gigi” (1958); Porgy and Bess (1959); Arrival Time (1962); Here’s Love (1963); This Is Ragtime Now (1964); Happenings (1966); Hanky Panky (1975); Solo Piano (1976); Satin Doll (1976); Hank (1976); Arigato (1976); Tiptoe Tapdance (1977); Just for Fun (1977); I Remember You (1977); Great Jazz Trio at the Village (1977); Bop Redux (1977); At the Village Vanguard (1977); Groovin’ High (1978); Bluesette (1978); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978); In Japan (1979); Have You Met This Jones? (1979); Great Jazz Trio at the Village (1980); Hello, Hank Jones / Clifford Jordan (1980); Jones-Brown-Smith (1983); Duo (1987); Oracle (1989); Lazy Afternoon (1989); Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, V (1991); Hank Jones Trio (1991); Rockin’ in Rhythm (1992); Handful of Keys: The Music of Hank Jones (1993); Upon Reflection—the Music of Thad Jones (1994).

—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter/Nicolas Slonimsky

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Jones, Hank (actually, Henry)

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