Hank Jones – Piano
Dave Holland – Bass
Keith Copeland – Drums
Ken Peplowski – Clarinet, Alto Sax
Hank Shaw the elder brother of drummer Elvin
and trumpeter Thad, was for many years the preferred accompanist
of the world’s leading singers and jazz musicians. The truth is
that Hank was a star in his own right, he has a light touch and
makes piano playing sound easy, even at this level! His style
shows the influence of Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum and Bud Powell,
but all are amalgamated into his own neat, immaculate, melodic
playing, which is no way lacking in rhythmic content. He spent
five years as pianist for Ella Fitzgerald and seventeen years
as a CBS staff pianist. He was the resident pianist with JATP
before Oscar Peterson decided to leave his home in Canada.
The first CD has Ray Brown on bass and Jimmy
Smith on drums and it consists entirely of standard tunes, immaculately
played by this high quality trio. Hank’s easy style makes for
very good listening and Ray Brown plays the bass in the way that
only he could. Listening to Hank playing is like overhearing a
master craftsman demonstrating the art of improvisation for the
benefit of his students.
The second CD includes Ken Peplowski who adds
much to this album, which also includes four of Hank’s original
compositions, Peedlum, Intimation, Passing Time and Sublime. Again,
as on the first disc, we are in the hands of master craftsmen,
Ken Peplowski’s excellent clarinet and alto playing is heard to
very good effect and another genius of the bass Dave Holland is
heard on this second album.
Concord Jazz has made an excellent re-release
here and I think that this album will make many realise just what
a giant of jazz Hank Jones was.