The interesting vocalist and pianist Jean Hoffman recorded her own album accurately entitled Jean Hoffman Sings and Swings for the Fantasy label in 1957 and eclectic bandleader Paul Winter made use of her talents several decades later when putting together his ambitious -- at least in terms of expected attendance -- Concert for the Earth project nearly two decades later. She came from a Portland family rich in musical talent and was already studying classical piano at the age of five. Despite this beginning, or perhaps because of it, Hoffman as a young lass was more inclined to play by ear. In her early twenties she began finding combos to sit in with in Portland. Eventually choosing to perform as a solo pianist, she found that the addition of vocals was an attractive asset not only for the listening audience but for the folks hiring the talent in rooms as well. While standard musical dogma states clearly that marrying a drummer is a terrible mistake, Hoffman seemed happy enough in her marital choice of drummer Bill Young to list him as one of her favorite musicians in Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz -- right alongside another happy couple, Béla Bartók and Charlie Parker. She formed a trio with Young around the time of her Fantasy contract, but it was not called "ménage à trois."
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