467

Hank Jones / Oliver Jones: Pleased To Meet You

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Hank Jones / Oliver Jones: Pleased To Meet You What a surprise to hear the first-ever recording that joins piano maestros Hank Jones and Oliver Jones.

A Detroit native, ninety-year-old Hank Jones is from the family that gave us Thad Jones and polyrhythmist Elvin Jones, and he has participated in historic bebop sessions with Charlie Parker and memorable duets with Tommy Flanagan. Montreal's Oliver Jones, who once followed in the footsteps of Oscar Peterson, has emerged to forge a virtuosic path as a Canadian music icon not unlike his erstwhile predecessor.

But their performances shine even brighter than the rare nature of this recording. Both men have the virtuosity to turn even an innocuous repertoire into something special, and thankfully don't have to here; Pleased to Meet You gives them something to work with.

Significantly, the label has chosen not to identify the order of their solos on ensemble pieces and duets. Yet it isn't hard to tell the two men apart. Hank Jones has the touch of an alchemist: notes are never ebony and ivory once he touches them lightly. They become burnished purveyors of dynamic sound, full of tonal color and timbral elegance. He holds an ever-burning torch for the stride geniuses of the past, such as Willie "The Lion" Smith, stepping on flatted fifths every once in a while (on "Ripples," for instance). On "Monk's Mood" and "Lonely Woman," both of which he plays alone, American music history flows through, and swirls around him. He is fleet-fingered, playing solos with rapid-fire double helix runs. Sometimes he turns them into inverted commas, pausing before quoting the melodies inside out.

Hank is generous with Oliver, allowing the younger man space to run riot with his florid, almost Byzantine whorls. Once it was well nigh impossible to tell Oliver Jones and Oscar Peterson apart, but the younger pianist has become his own man. He shows occasionally that he has heard Peterson—and Ravel and Debussy as well. But he quotes only from his own vast store of intelligent and melodious phrases and metaphors. He constructs his solos like towering architectural wonders with grace and legato splendor. And he is tender as the night as he eulogizes his dear friend on "I Remember OP."

These two giants are joined on bass and drums by young pretenders to their respective thrones: Brandi Disterheft is a princess of the bass violin. She plays with great sensitivity and solos with confident majesty on all her tracks. Jim Doxas, Oliver Jones' drummer, shows himself to be a sublime melodist when he deftly brushes brass and skins on "What Am I Here For."

This is truly rare record—a moving document in modern music that recalls the majesty of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow.

Track Listing: What Am I Here For?; Groove Merchant; Ripples; Makin Whoopie; I'll Remember April; Star Eyes; Blues for Big Scotia; Cakewalk; Monk's Mood; I Remember OP; Lonely Woman.

Personnel: Hank Jones: piano, solo piano (9, 11); Oliver Jones: piano; Brandi Disterheft: bass (1, 2, 3); Jim Doxas: drums (1, 2, 3).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Justin Time Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Points of View CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Migration Blues CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read N.O. Escape CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Live in Athens, Greece" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Athens, Greece
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Connection" CD/LP/Track Review Connection
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Don't Try You Are" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Try You Are
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Eleven Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Promises
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!