"During the initial period when I first came to New York, Al Haig was the pianist. His style was quite a departure from what I had previously been trying to play, which was more oriented towards the Teddy Wilson school with hints of Art Tatum, only hints, faint hints. [Bop] was a different style. I suppose the style came about mainly because these pianists rarely, if ever, played solo. I think they played with groups, and with groups it was not necessary for them to use a lot of left hand, with the moving tenths that most solos of the day utilized—pianists like Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson.
"These [bop] pianists all worked with groups. And the bassist in those groups took care of the bass hand, or the left hand, or the bass support for the horns and when the piano was playing a solo. So it wasn't necessary for the piano to carry a full fleshed-out sort of bass style.
"This didn't occur to me at the time. In retrospect, it seems that's probably what happened. But Al [Haig, pictured] was the first of the New York pianists that I heard—later on, of course, Bud Powell. And I don't recall any other [pianists] at the moment, but these two made quite an impression on me. First Al and then Bud...
"Al and Bud Powell were the most outstanding pianists of bebop. Most people, American writers, even today, don't realize what a great contribution Al and Bud made."
—Hank Jones, in Death of a Bebop Wife, by Grange (Lady Haig) Rutan