Sunday Wax Bits - JazzWax

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May 30, 2010


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Denis Ouellet

Thank you Mark for the comments on Hank's final days. I completely agree. From what I know, Hank exuded peace and tranquility. He lived his last moments like he had done all his life, in complete harmony with his heart and feelings. Everything else is irrelevant.


Alan Kurtz

Like your Oddball Album Cover of the Week, I lack an iota of imagination or perspective. At least, that's how I feel when confronted by JazzWax's Gotham-centric parochialism. What makes this "the single worst cover" you've featured? Perhaps you consider garbage cans demeaning to New York City or anachronistic to the era during which Hank Jones recorded this music. If so, I direct your attention to Frederic Lewis's "Man Carrying Metal Trash Cans In Harlem" (, which is captioned "A Black man carries metal trash cans outside an apartment building in a street scene from 114th Street between 7th and 8th Ave., circa 1968." It's a terrifically evocative photo.

Another such picture graces Blue Note's "The Magnificent Thad Jones," also recorded in 1956, with the subject artist standing in Times Square amidst dozens of pigeons and nearly as many billboards (the latter as much of an eyesore as garbage cans). Whether or not unsanitary pigeons and unsightly billboards outnumbered pedestrians in the heart of Manhattan during the mid-'50s, or garbage cans in Harlem were generally in poor repair, contemporaneous local color on album covers diminishes neither Jones brother. JazzWax is too touchy about protecting the image of both jazz and New York.

Marc Edelman

I don't know. As someone who has to decide on album (alas, CD) covers for projects, this cover strikes me as pretty darn bad. What is the cover meant to convey? For the life of me, I can't see anything positive in it. And I can't see any connection to the music, the album title or the artists. Face it, it's bad, whether the locale is NYC or anywhere else.

Waldo Waldorf

Spin it any way you want to, Alan Kurtz.

It's an ugly cover.

Arthur Shure

Two days after my Dad died in 2008, three offspring were to meet at
his door. One entered before the other two arrived. I was not there.
An argument of such ferocity broke out, with death threats leveled by
one offspring, that the police were summoned.

My Dad was 94 y/o when he died sound of mind, but with a tired body.

He told me once that there would be "troubles" with those three
offspring after he was gone. He was right.

This Hank Jones story touched me which is why I share this.

I don't even know what the moral of the story is.

Doug Payne

Without question, it’s a bad cover for so many reasons. Garbage cans? This should have nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of music. But it’s yet another case of another “public domain” recording getting graphic treatment from a company that does not know or care about or appreciate –or even listen to! - the music they’re putting out. And who would put a 1973 Buick on the cover of a 1956 recording? Or anything for that matter?

Alan Kurtz

"Garbage cans?" writes Doug Payne. "This should have nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of music." I trust you'll except the immaculate Trash Can Trio depicted at Reputedly Disneyland's jazziest attraction, they usually perform near Space Mountain, but may also be found in Fantasyland or on Main Street.

cc lee

"He also said that afterward, he rode up up in the elevator with her and her ex-husband, Arthur Miller. She was quite drunk, and Miller was furious and a bit jealous. According to Hank, Miller slapped her."

That's because she's having an affair with JFK!:-),people,entertainment,unique-photo-of-jfk-and-marilyn-monroe-goes-on-sale

cc lee

...upon further browsing through the reader comments generated from the City Room article on Hank Jones' room, it seems that there's a gross invasion of privacy from the part of the tenant & the too doesn't paint a true impression on the living conditions of Hank Jones' later years...

below you can read some angry replies by Charlie Haden, his manager & Hank Jones' relatives:

bach 9lt

On the your attention, didn't it?

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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