If you pressed me to name my favorite jazz pianist of all-time, it'd be a tough call. But it's really a toss-up between Hank Jones and Vince Guaraldi. Neither of them sounded like the other, but I've never heard a piece of music from either that I didn't like at least a little. So today is Vince's day. It's been 35 years since Guaraldi died of a heart attack at age 47, and when I think of all the music he had left in him it makes me sad. But he did leave behind so much great stuff, like today's track. It's "Freeway," from his 1963 live album In Person. The album was recorded live in 1962 at Sausalito's Trident Lounge with Fred Marshall on bass, Eddie Duran on guitar, Colin Bailey on drums, and Benny Velarde on scratcher. It features Vince's sense of rhythm and melody that is often imita...
It's been just over a year since jazz piano great Hank Jones died at the ripe old age of 91. As I've opined before on this site, Jones is probably the one musician most responsible for making me love jazz. So it's only appropriate this weekend to remember the Jazz Master, Hank Jones. This is a video about Hank compiled for his memorial service in June of last year. I encourage you to watch it, and then seek out some of his voluminous and always entertaining music. Related articles The Weekly Mixtape: 3/4/11 (Five-star jazz) (popdose.com) The Reading Party: Urbanity (slog.thestranger.com)
It's been another fun year for me in running this site, and I'd like to thank all of you who visit regularly, irregularly, or even once. I'd also like to thank everyone who has helped by contributing comments and post ideas. It's good to know there's at least a few people out there who enjoy my little corner of the intertubes. Since we're in the midst of year-end review season, let's take a quick look back at the posting year that was 2010 for The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Most Popular Posts This is really what it's all about right? It's always interesting to me to see what content takes off and what content gets largely ignored. Since I want to stay positive I'll focus on the former. So here are the eleven most-popular posts on the site for 2010. #11. Happy Hoff-Day! - Davi
Although I knew this day would come, it doesn't make it any easier to handle. Hank Jones, the man most responsible for sparking my love of jazz, has died at age 91. Jones' always tasteful and elegant brand of swing may not have blazed any musical trails, but it always made for good listening. The music was a reflection of the man - gentle, thoughtful with a touch of humor, and never self-important. Jones was the last surviving member of an immensely gifted trio of brothers - Thad (1923-1986) made a name for himself as much for his trumpeting acumen as for his compositional skills, and Elvin (1927-2004) was one of the most respected drummers in the genre. Hank's understated style made him the least flashy or famous of his brothers, but he was always my favorite. You can find an
Jazz piano giants Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan, who both sprang out of a very fertile post-war Detroit jazz scene, entered Fantasy Studios (the in-house studio of Fantasy Records) in Berkeley, California to record an album of piano duets in January 1978. The result of that session was the Galaxy Records release Our Delights (GXY-5113). The album art indeed reflects the very sweet music contained within: It took a few glances at the photo before I figured out that those aren't chocolate hearts, but chocolate pianos. A nice little juxtaposition for sure. Unfortunately I don't know who's responsible for this rather clever photograph, but if anyone has that info please let me know. The same recording session also yielded a second duet album, More Delights, which featured a simil
When I was starting my exploration of jazz about eight or so years ago, Hank Jones was one of the first musicians I gravitated toward. By complete chance I was listening to a local jazz radio station and heard a studio version of one of his original compositions, "Interface", and made it my mission to hear more from the man who had written such a wonderful song. Although I never did track down that album (The Oracle, long out of print), I did develop an even greater appreciation for Jones's music, and in turn for jazz in general. So when I discovered, quite by chance, that he was scheduled for a run of shows at New York's famed Birdland jazz club in celebration of his 90th birthday, there wasn't even a thought of not going. It's not every day you get to witness a living legend perfor
While he doesn't get the widespread acclaim of jazz pianists like Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, or Dave Brubeck, Hank Jones has nonetheless been producing music of a high caliber for decades. 1978's Tiptoe Tapdance, originally released on the Galaxy Records imprint (a subsidiary of the more well-known Fantasy label) came out when Hank was 60 years old, and as of this writing he's been playing pretty consistently for the 30 years since its release. Alas, the best image I could find (meaning the largest image that was also in decent shape) was from a used record site. For those under 30, those light circles on the cover are not part of the image; they're what's known in the business as ring wear. Admittedly, the clumsy cropping job at the wrist indicates that Galaxy probably didn't
From Idolator via the AV Club comes a pretty cool music meme - compile a list of your favorite albums, with one for each year you've been alive. Sounds easy enough, but some years are positively stacked with music I love. Forcing me to choose among my musical children is just so...cruel. For me the most bountiful years were 1975-1978, 1980, 1982-1984, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2007. 1975 - Kiss, Alive! 1976 - Led Zeppelin, Presence 1977 - Rush, A Farewell to Kings 1978 - Ace Frehley/Kiss, Ace Frehley 1979 - Pink Floyd, The Wall 1980 - Genesis, Duke 1981 - Rush, Moving Pictures 1982 - Rush, Signals 1983 - Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind 1984 - Iron Maiden, Powerslave 1985 - Kiss, Asylum 1986 - Queensrÿche, Rage for Order 1987 - Anthrax, Among the Living 1988 - Queensr