The Richard Sussman Quartet at The Kitano Thursday, July 28, 2011 performing the Original Compositions of Hank Jones featuring: Richard Sussman, piano, Dick Oatts, sax & flute, Jay Anderson, bass, Steve Johns, drums
Richard Sussman was one of the last arrangers to work with Hank Jones before he passed away in May 2010 (at age 91). Richard's association with Hank began with the ASCAP Jazz Composition Award in 2008 in honor of Hank Jones. This lead to the composition of "Ivories Tower" by Richard, as well as arrangements of several of Hank's originals performed by the Metropole Orchestra in May, 2009, with Hank Jones as the featured soloist. The association continued with Richard working closely with Hank on the editing and preparation of Hank's original tunes for publication in a Hank Jones Songbook. The songbook was completed and is available on Universal Music.
"I had the extraordinary privilege and good fortune to work closely with Hank Jones as an arranger during 2009-2010 - right up until the time he got sick. During this time, I had a chance to study Hank's music closely. I discovered that in addition to the sophistication and elegance we all associate with Hank, there was an incredible joy and playfulness in almost everything he did.
I had the rare opportunity to rehearse with Hank on numerous occasions, going over the details of his tunes - which are gems! I treasured those rehearsals with Hank. Each one was a lesson. What I learned about Hank Jones in the brief time I knew him was that besides being one of the greatest Jazz Masters of all time, he was also one of the most gracious, generous, humble, and kind human beings I've ever met. He loved music deeply, but he also loved and respected his fellow human beings. He had a great sense of humor and his mind was sharp as a nail - he always had a quick comeback or one-liner ready, and a wealth of amazing stories about jazz.
I feel blessed and honored to have had the chance to work closely with Hank for this brief time and to get to know him as a person. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to perform some of Hank's incredible original compositions and to help keep his spirit alive through this music."
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For more information, visit www.richardsussmanjazz.com.