Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hank Jones on Al Haig

Henry "Hank" Jones (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010)

Hank Jones remembers his early Bop influences after leaving the Detroit area. He put a stress on the role of Al Haig in finding his own musical voice which was not a total departure from the Teddy Wilson tradition, but it was more a modern variation of that:

"When I first got to New York, one of the first groups I heard was the Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker group. Al Haig was the pianist at the time: Now I understand that he and Bud Powell alternated with the group, as did Max Roach and Stan Levey on drums. But during the initial period when I first came to New York, Al Haig was the pianist.
His style of playing was quite a departure from what I had previously been trying to play, which was more oriented towards the Teddy Wilson school with hints of Art Tatum, only hints, faint hints. It was a different style. That style came about mainly because these pianists rarely, if ever, played solo. I think they played with groups, and with groups it was not necessary for them to use a lot of left hand, with the moving tenths that most solos of the day utilized—pianists like Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson. But these pianists all worked with groups. And the bassists in those groups took care of the bass hand, or the left hand, or the bass support for the horns and, when the piano was playing a solo, for the piano as well. So it wasn't necessary for the piano to carry a full, fleshed-out sort of bass style. It didn't occur to me at the time. In retrospect it seems that's probably what happened.

But Al was the first of the New York pianists that I heard—later on, of course, Bud Powell. And I don't recall any other at the moment, but these two made quite an impression on me. First Al and then Bud. At first the style seemed quite complicated, mainly because I wasn't familiar with the background harmonic changes that the style was superimposed upon. Whatever we call the "line," it's always based on the harmonic changes underneath, and these changes were completely new to me. The chords themselves weren't new but the placement of the chords, and the progressions, and the way they were used. And, of course, the melodies that were built on these chords were all new to me. I was listening to the lines more than the harmonic background. When I began to consider the harmonic background everything sort of fell into place for me. As a matter of course I subconsciously started to think in that vein. It showed up later in my playing."


  1. عرض سلام و ادب بسیار جناب خوشبخت
    Round Midnight
    اش را دانلود کردم. شنیدنی بود
    اتفاقا مدتی‌ست که سه نوازنده‌ی خوش‌ذوق شیفته‌ی جز و بلوز دارند روی تعدادی از ترانه‌های بنده برای آلبوم‌شان کار می‌کنند. منتشر که شد یا وقتی اتودش به دستم رسید حتما تقدیم می‌کنم گوش بدهید
    با احترام
    آرمین ابراهیمی

  2. حتماً آقای آرمین ابراهیمی