May 17, 2010
Author: Ken Laster
Hank Jones appeared about a year ago at University of Hartford to receive an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Hartt School of Music. It was a concert I'll never forget. Although Hank Jones was near 90 years old at the time, he played with the chops of someone half his age, and seemed sharp and energetic. He played a solo masterpiece, and then in a quartet setting with Steve Davis (trombone), Nat Reeves (bass) and Carl Allen (drums). After that he played in larger ensemble settings with many of the finest young musicians from Hartt's Jackie McLean Institute for Jazz studies.
Below is an excerpt from the New York Times on Hank Jones life and his passing.
"Hank Jones, whose self-effacing nature belied his stature as one of the most respected jazz pianists of the postwar era, died on Sunday in the Bronx. He was 91. His death, at Calvary Hospital Hospice, was announced by his longtime manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc. Mr. Jones lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and also had a home in Hartwick, N.Y. Mr. Jones spent much of his career in the background. For three and a half decades he was primarily a sideman, most notably with Ella Fitzgerald; for much of that time he also worked as a studio musician on radio and television. His fellow musicians admired his imagination, his versatility and his distinctive style, which blended the urbanity and rhythmic drive of the Harlem stride pianists, the dexterity of Art Tatum and the harmonic daring of bebop. (The pianist, composer and conductor André Previn once called Mr. Jones his favorite pianist, “regardless of idiom.”) But unlike his younger brothers Thad, who played trumpet with Count Basie and was later a co-leader of a celebrated big band, and Elvin, an influential drummer who formed a successful combo after six years with John Coltrane’s innovative quartet, Hank Jones seemed content for many years to keep a low profile."
credit New York Times author Peter Keepnews, May 17 2010
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Just read Hank's latest book and found it hihlgy informative and excellent overall. His instruction is straight-forward and easy to follow he obviously knows his subject and conveys it like you would expect Tiger's Coach to do. I believe it is a book that I will reference over and over like Hank states he did with Hogan's Five Lessons and John Jacob's Practical Golf. Both of which I have read and reference often also. I've also read Nicklaus' Golf My Way and of course Tiger's How I Play Golf, two books that are also well written and hihlgy informative. This leads me to the reason I have rated Hank's book with only 4 stars when I would rank the others I've mentioned with 5 stars. The editing and photographs in Hank's book are average at best (2-3 stars) and certainly not what I would expect from a hardcover 1st Edition. Hank and the reader deserve better from the publisher that he praises, John Wiley & Sons. While I'm not a professional writer myself, I do know how to run spell check on a document and proofread it. One example of several typos and grammatical errors occurs on page xii of the Acknowledgments. The editors didn't catch, when I first stared teaching Tiger Woods instead of started teaching Tiger Woods Furthermore, while the pictures of Hank are well done and convey what he is writing, they are all black and white and I don't see one drawing in the book that Hank alludes to in the acknowledgments: Scott Addison, thanks for your great work on transforming the pictures that Dom took into the great drawings in this book. I was expecting to see some high quality drawings like Jim McQueen's in Golf My Way or Anthony Ravielli's in Five Lessons and Practical Golf. Instead, it looks like the publisher just inserted the black and white photographs that would've been used for the drawings, into the book itself. I really hope that Hank takes the publisher to task and forces them to put out a 2nd edition with color photographs and/or color drawings, along with better editing. Finally, while Tiger is mentioned multiple times in the book (but not gratuitously), I find it odd that he didn't write the foreward or afterword it's not like he didn't have the time last fall or winter. From what I've seen and heard of Hank on TV and in Golf Digest, he probably didn't want to ask, but someone else could have and should have, like his agent or publisher maybe? Well, perhaps Tiger will write something for the 2nd edition that I'll be looking for, and that the publishers should send to buyers of the 1st edition gratis. Again, Hank does a great job, but others have let him down in my opinion. If the content wasn't so good, I would send the book back to Amazon for a refund.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 10:07 AM
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