Hank Jones

The Trio [1955]

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This is a superb Hank Jones date; highly recommended for fans of piano trio music. In 1955, most jazz pianists were immersed in the school of Bud Powell. Jones is unique in that he developed his harmonic concept prior to Powell's ascendancy and the bebop revolution, but went on to fully assimilate the melodic vocabulary of bop. He has synthesized important elements from many great players into his own recognizable style. His versatility is evident on these eight selections. Jones plays swinging bop lines on his original "We're All Together" and his blues head, "Odd Number," displays the Powell influence most clearly. Upon hearing the delicate touch and harmonic subtlety with which Jones plays ballads -- including "We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together," "Cyrano," "There's a Small Hotel," and "My Funny Valentine" -- one can imagine that a young Bill Evans was quite familiar with this recording. Jones' mastery of block chords is particularly impressive. Occasionally reissued under drummer Kenny Clarke's name, this important Savoy session also includes bassist Wendell Marshall, who had spent the previous seven years with Duke Ellington's band.

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