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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Hank Jones

The Touch

Concord Jazz CCD2-2157-2

This 2xCD set consists of music previously released as ‘Rockin’ In Rhythm’ (1977) and ‘Lazy Afternoon’ (1989).



Disc One

  1. Your Feet’s Too Big
  2. Dancing On the Ceiling
  3. My Ship
  4. Spring is Here
  5. Rockin’ In Rhythm
  6. Bag’s Groove
  7. Alone Together
  8. The Girl Next Door

Hank Jones – Piano, Fender Rhodes
Ray Brown – Bass
Jimmy Smith - Drums

Disc Two

  1. Speak Low
  2. Peedlum
  3. Lazy Afternoon
  4. Work Song
  5. Intimidation
  6. Lament
  7. Comin’ Home baby
  8. Passing Time
  9. Sublime
  10. Arrival

Hank Jones – Piano
Dave Holland – Bass
Keith Copeland – Drums
Ken Peplowski – Clarinet, Alto Sax

Hank Shaw the elder brother of drummer Elvin and trumpeter Thad, was for many years the preferred accompanist of the world’s leading singers and jazz musicians. The truth is that Hank was a star in his own right, he has a light touch and makes piano playing sound easy, even at this level! His style shows the influence of Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum and Bud Powell, but all are amalgamated into his own neat, immaculate, melodic playing, which is no way lacking in rhythmic content. He spent five years as pianist for Ella Fitzgerald and seventeen years as a CBS staff pianist. He was the resident pianist with JATP before Oscar Peterson decided to leave his home in Canada.

The first CD has Ray Brown on bass and Jimmy Smith on drums and it consists entirely of standard tunes, immaculately played by this high quality trio. Hank’s easy style makes for very good listening and Ray Brown plays the bass in the way that only he could. Listening to Hank playing is like overhearing a master craftsman demonstrating the art of improvisation for the benefit of his students.

The second CD includes Ken Peplowski who adds much to this album, which also includes four of Hank’s original compositions, Peedlum, Intimation, Passing Time and Sublime. Again, as on the first disc, we are in the hands of master craftsmen, Ken Peplowski’s excellent clarinet and alto playing is heard to very good effect and another genius of the bass Dave Holland is heard on this second album.

Concord Jazz has made an excellent re-release here and I think that this album will make many realise just what a giant of jazz Hank Jones was.


Don Mather



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