Steve Davis Meets Hank Jones, Volume 1
Isn’t It Romantic
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Cry Me a River
We’ll Be Together Again
About The Album
Steve Davis Meets Hank Jones, Volume 1 features the legendary pianist in one of his final recordings on a poetic and interactive session with leader/trombonist Steve Davis and bassist Peter Washington
In June 2008, pianist Hank Jones, trombonist Steve Davis, and bassist Peter Washington recorded this poetic, interactive, impeccably executed, never-before-released recital, titled Steve Davis Meets Hank Jones shortly after Jones had undergone quadruple bypass heart surgery at the end of 2006 and a month before he turned 90. Not only is it one of Jones’ final sessions, but it is one of the finest of his extraordinary career.
“It was one of the greatest musical experiences of my life,” says Davis of his sixth Smoke Sessions leader release. “Wherever I wanted to go, Hank was there – not in your way, but ready to support you, to take you somewhere. It was the essence of jazz – that thing that happens between us when we play and create and speak the language in real-time. My idea was that it would be like Hank and Peter playing duo at Bradley’s (the iconic Greenwich Village piano saloon where Jones played regularly until the early 1990s), with me sitting in, trying not to mess it up.”
The result has Davis improvising melodic variations with an enveloping, vocalized tone, phrasing long, logical lines with fluid propulsion, propelled by Washington’s elegant, unerringly kinetic flow. The music represents Jones’ genius perhaps more successfully than any other album he made during the final decade of his life. “Hank embodied the history of jazz,” Davis says. “It encompasses this decades-long span of jazz music, and somehow is distilled into this absolute direct concept. When you hear him play stride piano, the blues, the American Songbook, swing, bebop. You hear the French Impressionists, Chopin. You hear modern jazz, or perhaps what influenced pianists like Herbie Hancock or Bill Evans or McCoy Tyner, all the pianists we regard as the ones who’ve led us into the future. Hank is all of it.”
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