Hank Jones

Hank Jones with the Meridian String Quartet

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Hank Jones has recorded in many different settings over the years, but this bop-third stream session blending a piano trio with a classical string quartet is one of his more unusual sessions. Jones, accompanied by bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Dennis Mackrel, is the primary soloist, though there is space for Reid as well, while the string quartet primarily provides color and contrast for the trio. The ten standards are arranged with flair by Manny Albam (though his name is missing entirely from the credits to the Laserlight reissue). While this sort of date is an acquired taste for some jazz fans, it is by no means a typical "with strings" session, due to Jones' considerable chops and Albam's imaginative charts. Highlights include the brisk bossa nova setting of "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" and the dramatic, upbeat scoring of "Caravan."

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