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Joe Lovano Reflects on Hank Jones

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Wednesday May 19, 2010

Hank Jones Upon Reflection…

Knowing and creating music with Hank over the last Fifteen years has enlightened and enhanced my life beyond description. He was the most sincere, gracious, elegant man I’ve had the pleasure to know. Hank was full of love and had a inner passion that poured out of him in his relationships on and off the band stand, yet he was also a very shrewd business man as well.

He embodied the phrase the wisdom of the elders. Hank was never really satisfied with his own playing always wanting to play better next time, but loved communicating with his audience and was telepathic in his magical sensibilities within every rhythm section and band he played with. Hank could say more in a four or eight bar intro to a tune than most others would say in a whole concert set.

I’ve had the great fortune to share countless concerts around the world and record four timeless documents of our collaboration for Blue Note Records as a leader: Three were Quartet recordings with George Mraz and Paul Motian, I’m All for You, Joyous Encounter and a Billy Strayhorn Songbook Lush Life. The fourth was a duet recording Kids Live at Dizzy’s Coca Cola club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. These experiences set the stage for my future developments and explorations in music.

Hank Jones was a deeply spiritual man and God rewarded him with the most beautiful natural gifts that he shared with all of us.

We were Blessed to have known him!
Thanks Hank for showing me the way.

Joe Lovano,
May 17, 2010