Few current musicians have had as lengthy and as productive a career as pianist Hank Jones. Born in Vicksburg, Miss. in 1918, Jones was the oldest of the three illustrious Jones brothers, which included cornetist-arranger Thad and drummer Elvin. He was also the first of the great Detroit pianists to emerge, preceding Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Roland Hanna. Jones grew up in Detroit, played in territory bands as a teenager, and moved to New York in 1944. He worked on 52nd Street with many all-stars and had associations with the John Kirby Sextet, Howard McGhee, Coleman Hawkins, the Andy Kirk Orchestra and Billy Eckstine. Jones’ swing-to-bop style was influenced by Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum and later Bud Powell, and it has been flexible enough not to need to change much through the years.
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