I feel like Hank Jones is underrated. I mean sure, he’s not flashy like Oscar Peterson, doesn’t play cool and weird chords like Bill Evans and he’s not as rhythmically punchy as Red Garland. However, his impeccable pianistic choices and beautiful melodic improvisation matches any of the other piano giants. Today, Jones teaches us a different way to approach the blues. As always, the full PDF will be at the end of the page. Dont forget to follow the blog on Instagram and, if you’re feeling generous, buy me a coffee 🙂
One of the things that strike my attention the most is that Jones uses the major 7th… a lot. Either as an inflection point to go back to the tonic, or just as a beautiful color.
When he does this, he’s not really laying out chords in his left hand. I can only assume he does it to broaden his harmonic horizons. It’s refreshing, honestly.
There he goes again! This time even more clearly due to the rhythm of the phrase. He uses the major 7th again as an inflection point to bounce back to the tonic and then upwards. What makes it an even more compelling resource is that he’s using it as the lowest note of the phrase, which gives it even more gravity.
Lastly, I wanna talk about this killing line. Look at it, it just keeps going! After the 4th measure I expected it to stop, but Jones keeps ramping up the energy. This is just great taste.
As promised, here’s the full PDF:
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