Hank Jones is a man of many parts. Even though he is generally classified as a bop specialist, his playing is so flexible that it is open to any type of jazz genre. His playing can be as shimmering as a mountain brook, as fresh as a spring morning, or as sophisticated as a classical performer. He has also developed a reputation as an accomplished and sought-after accompanist for some of the top vocalists of his time. While there's no singing on this album, the only one he made for the Progressive label, the other realms of Jones' pianist world are visited, whether it be the jagged bop lines of "Allen's Alley," where Ronnie Bedford's drums are given wide latitude, or a cultivated, almost polite yet swinging "Recapitulation," where Jay Leonhart's bass gets the spotlight. Leonhart shows up on two cuts; the other bass belongs to Richard Davis. The Latin beat gets a nod with a relaxing, quiet reading of Gary McFarland's "Night Sadness (Notte Trieste)." Jones pays homage to one of his more illustrious contemporaries with a magical reading of "What Am I Here For?," this time featuring Davis' bass. The trio expands with the addition of guitarist Ray Rivera for "Night Flight to Puerto Rico" and "Majorca." Over his many years as a performer, Hank Jones has established himself not only as a major force in jazz piano, but also nonpareil when it comes to the piano trio format. This 1976 recording does absolutely nothing to diminish his matchless status in the annals of that combination. ~ Dave Nathan
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- Darji Meets Hank Jones (Gross, Darwin)