The Hank Jones-Charlie Haden Magical Hymns

Harris Mungai By Harris Mungai, 20th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3yy46m9i/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Music>Jazz

As the Christmas season had come and went with the merry-making atmosphere building up.It was indeed a very dramatic moment for many the world over.

Spirituals,Hymns And Folk Songs

Throughout the christmas and new year period,in a certain way,I was finding myself increasingly hankering for a peaceful and calm period during the festivities that were,at best,filled with some 'fierce' pleasures.
In an attempt to inspire myself into achieving some peaceful moments,I found myself listening to music that was performed by two of my favourite jazz musicians:Hank Jones and Charlie Haden.Unfortunately though,bassist Hayden and pianist Jones are no longer with us.Hayden passed away on July 11,2014 in Los Angeles,California,aged 77,while Jones died in May 16,2010,in New York at the age of 92.
I fondly remember the duo for their exceptional album project titled Steal Away:Spirituals Hymns and Folks songs ,a heartfelt performance for its spirituality,simplicity and soulfulness.This exceptional album was recorded in June 29 and 30,1994, but was released in 1995. The songs in the CD are mostly hymns,spirituals and a few secular folk songs that constitute the main repertoire of almost all protestant churches.

Musicians At An Early Age

The songs contained in this CD include Steal Away by Wallace Willis,a freed slave who composed it way back in 1862,it goes like;Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child,Go Down Moses,Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen,We Shall Overcome.
And hymn medley;Abide With Me/Just As I am Without One plea/What A Friend We Have In Jesus.These songs have been given jazz interpretations by Jones and Haden and they amaze for their sheer melodic simplicity,but at the same time contain incredible harmonics.
Henry 'Hank'Jones was born in Vicksburg,Mississippi,in July 31,1918 and raised in a musical family,his mother Olivia Jones,sang;his two elder sisters studied and played piano;while his younger brothers -Thad,a trumpeter,and Elvin,a drummer-also became prominent jazz musicians.Hank,whose playing was initially influenced by pianists Earl Hines,Fats Waller,Teddy Wilson and ArynTatum,studied piano at an early age,by the age of 13 he was playing professionally in Michigan and Ohio.

The Collaboration

He made his big move to New York City in 1944 following an invitation by horn-man Lucky Thompson to play at the Onyx Club.It was in that year that he developed a harmonic style of extraordinary taste and sophistication.
Charles Edward Haden was born in Shenandaoh,Iowa,on August 6,1937. His family was musical too and actually played country and folk music as the Haden Family Band.His first recordings were made in 1957 with Canadian-born pianist Paul Bley,with whom he worked until 1959.Ten years later,in 1969 he started the Liberation Music Orchestra,whose music was mostly arranged by pianist Carla Bley,Paul's ex-wife.
In February 2010,Haden and Hank Jones recorded a companion album called Come Sunday.This CD contains some more hymns and spirituals,which include God Rest Ya Merry Gentlemen,Sweet Hour of Prayer,Give Me That Old Time Religion and Bringing In The Sheaves.Sadly,Hank Jones died three months later after the recording of the album.

Extraordinary Music

These two musicians were among the most revered in the world of jazz with very impressive individual track records in the entertainment world.But they will,for a long time to come be in the fond memories of the very many people they touched through the extraordinary music they performed and recorded for more than the cumulative 130 years of their careers.These two recordings are a-must-have because of their timeless content and the manner in which Charlie and Hank performed them;the tunes sooth and comfort both the mind and the soul.

Tags

Jazz Bands, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Songs

Meet the author

author avatar Harris Mungai
I developed an interest in writing when I was in elementary school and since then this passion keeps on burning in me.Thank you Wikinut for this chance to express myself here.

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Comments

author avatar M G Singh
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Interesting post

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author avatar GenkiWorld
20th Jan 2015 (#)

when i was in the high school jaz club their songs were my favorite to perform.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Thank you madam G for taking time to go through my post.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
20th Jan 2015 (#)

That is so cool to hear.Thanks for the comment.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Awesome post and great story!

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author avatar Carol Roach
21st Jan 2015 (#)

Thanks for the great post I did not know these musicians

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author avatar Harris Mungai
21st Jan 2015 (#)

Thank you Fern.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
21st Jan 2015 (#)

Welcome Carol and thanks for reading this post.

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