Listening to eighty-seven year old jazz pianist Hank Jones is akin to witnessing a paradoxical notion of history acting out in real-time. As his legacy and accomplishments are outside the scope of this diatribe. This outing is dedicated to his father, where Mr. Jones covers time-honored standards amid jazz drummer Al Foster’s beautiful composition and opening track, "Pauletta." Here, the pianist simply plays all the right notes as he states the sanguine melody with a delicate touch and a graceful stride.
Jones, bassist George Mraz and drummer Dennis Mackrel enjoy a level playing field throughout the overall scope of this affair. Marked by slow to medium-tempo pulses, the musicians stretch out within the context of each song. It’s a democratic engagement, featuring Mraz’ lyrically driven bass solos and Mackrel’s ability to solo against the beat.
Jones fuses a jazz-waltz vibe into "Queen of Hearts," to coincide with his ability to temper the flow with soft accents, and understated single note runs. The trio also ventures into blues territory and ballads. Nonetheless, Jones is a teacher. But more importantly, he extends his soul into these works that are centered upon trickling currents amid congenial swing vamps and a general sense of good cheer. (Recommended.... )