The World According to Keitho

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Hank Jones on practicing

Posted by keithosaunders on June 2, 2010

I just heard a replay of a great interview of Hank Jones done by Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.  The interview was done in 2005 when Hank was 87 years old.  He sounded sharp as a tack and if you didn’t know his age you might think he was in his 40s or younger.

Towards the end of the interview Terry asked Hank if he still practiced and he assured her that he did.  “I don’t see how anybody could do without practicing.”  She asked him what he practiced and he said that he ran scales and worked on material, both new and old.  He said “I try to be conversant with the piano.  You have to be on good speaking terms with the piano or the piano will rebuff you.”   

What a beautiful quote.  It’s no wonder he was the most elegant of pianists.  Even if I had never heard him play I would have realized that this was someone to be reckoned with.

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