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A Fireside Chat with Hank Jones

By Published: October 27, 2003

You would sit there and be transfixed. You could watch his fingers and you still couldn't figure out how he was doing it. He was a true genius. If you ever heard him in person, you would have even more appreciation for him because he did it so effortlessly. His effort was nothing, any key, both hands equally adept. His left hand was good as his right hand. I never got tired of listening to him play. Even today, when I throw on his records, I still can't believe he is doing what he is doing.

FJ: When the journey comes to a close, what would your legacy to be?

HJ: I would like people to think I was distinguishable as opposed to indistinguishable from other pianists. I would like to believe I had developed some kind of style or signature to be identified with myself and not just a hundred other people. That is one of the greatest things you can accomplish, if you ever accomplish that. There are very few people that you listen to that have that distinctive style like an Erroll Garner or Art Tatum or Fats Waller. I would like to be remembered as someone who developed a style. That is a matter that can only be decided by time, Fred.

FJ: I am confident that you can rest at ease.

HJ: I thank you. That is very kind of you, Fred. I hope so.

Photo Credit
Dr. Jazz

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