Autumn in New York
Gary Giddins on Hank Jones:
Jones is perhaps the most venerated of contemporary jazz pianists, and not just because he has outlived so much of the competition. Jazz taste oscillates between decorum and expression, usually favoring the latter. In the years when jazz piano was dominated by obdurate, percussive modernists like Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor, Jones was often perceived as a genteel professional, and admired more for the reliability of his technique than for his wit. In today’s more ecumenical musical climate, in which pianists like Bill Charlap and Jason Moran tend to mediate percussive dynamics with lyricism, Jones’s approach seems almost prophetic.