Hank Jones / Oliver Jones

Pleased to Meet You

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Duo piano recordings have been dismissed as a gimmick by many critics and even a few pianists, including the late Tommy Flanagan, but the pairing of two pianists often produces outstanding results. This is the case in the pairing of Oliver Jones (a Canadian who deserves to be better known worldwide) with the legendary Hank Jones, who remains active into his nineties and who has recorded duo piano albums with Flanagan, George Shearing, and John Lewis, in addition to taking part in the one-off Jazz Piano Quartet with Dick Hyman, Sir Roland Hanna, and Marian McPartland. The sessions are a tribute in part to Oscar Peterson, as both men knew him well and Oliver studied piano with Peterson's sister. They add a rhythm section (bassist Brandi Disterheft and drummer Jim Doxas) on the first three tracks, highlighted by a soulful, gospel-inflected take of "Groove Merchant." Five of the remaining seven selections are duo piano sans rhythm section, including a romp through "Makin' Whoopee," an elegant "Star Eyes," and two powerful interpretations of Peterson originals "Blues for Big Scotia" and "Cakewalk." Hank Jones has two solo features, a thoughtful rendition of "Monk's Mood" and William Steigmeyer's rarely performed "Lonely Woman." Both pianists are on hand for Oliver Jones' warm tribute to Peterson, "I Remember OP."

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