Hank Jones was recently interviewed by Terry Gross on "Fresh Air", in a segment that aired yesterday and which is archived here. I'd had no idea about the interview (I rarely listen to non-music programming on public radio), but—bless his heart—my husband phoned me from work to alert me that it was on (he'd heard about it from a colleague, whose wife had phoned him to let him know it was on, bless her heart). Did I say I'd had no idea? Strangely enough, earlier in the day I'd given a first listen to Steal Away, the album of traditional hymns and spirituals that Hank Jones made with Charlie Haden in 1995. "Go Down, Moses" from that album is excerpted in the interview, along with a generous sampling of recordings spanning the last half-century. Hank Jones turns 87 on July 31 and still actively plays and records (and practices his scales!). Disciplined and devout in how he lives, thoughtful and inventive in how he plays—Hank Jones is simply inspiring. I'm eager to hear his latest, For My Father, particularly for the Strayhorn ("Lotus Blossom" and "Johnny Come Lately") and for his take on Monk's "Bemsha Swing"; I love Monk, but most of all when he is played by Mr. Jones.
Newly blooming: Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain', Clematis texensis 'Duchess of Albany', asiatic lilies (burnt orange and pink-tinged orange), Heliotropium arborescens (purple heliotrope), Phlox paniculata, Salvia viridis (annual clary sage, self-sown), Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew), Echinacea purpurea (coneflower), Aconitum napellus (purple monkshood), Sidalcea x 'Party Girl' (miniature hollyhock), Gilia tricolor (bird's-eye gilia), Alcea rosea 'Nigra' (black hollyhock), Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle', Hydrangea 'Endless Summer', Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagreb' and 'Moonbeam' (tickseed), Astilbe arendsii x 'Bressingham Beauty', thornless blackberries.