Hank Jones

The Touch: Rockin' in Rhythm/Lazy Afternoon

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This two-disc reissue combines sessions Hank Jones waxed for Concord Jazz 12 years apart. The first CD contains 1977's Rockin' in Rhythm, originally co-billed to Jones, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jimmie Smith. The trio ably handles a group of standards, though, as annotator Leonard Feather notes of the opening song, "Your Feet's Too Big," the nominal songwriters can be happy they are receiving royalties for improvistations that often use very little of their original tunes. On this track and three others, Jones plays an electric piano to good effect. He dominates the music, making his new star billing on the session appropriate. The ten tracks on the second disc were recorded in July 1989 and originally issued as Lazy Afternoon. Here, Dave Holland on bass and Keith Copeland on drums, with Ken Peplowski adding clarinet and alto sax, join Jones. Though originally billed as a Jones solo album, this is actually more of a group effort than Rockin' in Rhythm, with each of the musicians getting considerable solo time. The aspect that makes it more of Jones record is the material, which includes several lively originals from the pianist, particularly "Intimidation." Only the title song, from the 1954 Broadway musical The Golden Apple, really can be called a standard. Concord Jazz doesn't have much Jones in its catalog, but the label makes the best of what it does have by combining these two albums in a single package.

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