The oldest of the three illustrious Jones brothers (which include Thad and Elvin), Hank Jones was also the first of the great Detroit pianists (including Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Roland Hanna) to emerge after World War II although by then he had long since left town. Jones played in territory bands while a teenager and in 1944 he moved to New York to play with Hot Lips Page.
He had stints with John Kirby, Howard McGhee, Coleman Hawkins, Andy Kirk and Billy Eckstine. Influenced by Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum, Jones' style was also open to bebop and his accessible playing was flexible enough to fit into many genres. He was on several Jazz at the Philharmonic tours (starting in 1947), worked as accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald (1948-53) and recorded with Charlie Parker. In the 1950s Jones performed with Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Lester Young, Cannonball Adderley and many others. He was on the staff of CBS during 1959-1976 but always remained active in jazz.
In the late '70s Jones was the pianist in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' and he recorded with a pickup unit dubbed the Great Jazz Trio which at various times includes Ron Carter, Buster Williams or Eddie Gomez on bass and Tony Williams, Al Foster or Jimmy Cobb on drums. Among the many labels that Hank Jones has recorded for as a leader are Verve, Savoy, Epic, Golden Crest, Capitol, Argo, ABC-Paramount, Impulse, Concord, East Wind, Muse, Galaxy, Black & Blue, MPS, Inner City and Chiaroscuro. For My Father is Mr. Jones' Justin Time debut.