Watch the Something Like Hank online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know
Hank Jones plays on two of my favorite jazz recordings, Wes Montgomery’s So Much Guitar and Cannonball Adderly’s Somethin’ Else. In fact, each of these albums includes a great minor blues, Wes’ "Somethin’ Like Bags," and Adderly’s "One For Daddy-0." (Which raises, albeit tangentially, the question: just how do you get an awesome nickname like "Cannonball" in the first place?)
Though Jones’ family seemingly did not hand out the sobriquets as freely as some others, it was clearly a hotbed of talent, as his younger siblings included trumpeter Thad Jones, as well as Elvin Jones - you know, the guy who played drums on all those Coltrane records (Jones himself appeared with Trane and Milt Jackson on the 1960 session Bags and Trane). Jones began his career working with swing icons like Hot Lips Page and Lucky Thompson before discovering and delving into bebop as it was developing in the mid-1940s, and ultimately recorded with both Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker as well as tenor giants Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster and several other greats. All this after working as a touring member of Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic and serving as Ella Fitzgerald’s pianist from 1948 to 1953. Give a listen and you’ll see why so many people wanted him around.