R.I.P. Jazz-Piano Giant Hank Jones, Dead At 91


His extraordinary humility aside, pianist Hank Jones had an extraordinary career: He played with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Charlie Parker to Benny Goodman, and after a late-career resurgence in which he finally deigned to bask a bit in the spotlight, he was recording critically lauded albums and playing shows right up to his death, which was announced Sunday. The lengthy New York Times obit is here; our own Rob Trucks interviewed Jones for us backstage at Birdland a few years back, wherein they seem to jovially argue about whether or not Hank is any good at playing piano. “Rob, I’m still working at it, you know,” Jones said. “I feel, sincerely, like this. I think I have yet to do my best performance. I am working towards that, and I’ll keep on doing that, of course.” And he did.