Hank Hirsh | Around and Back

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Jazz: Bebop Reggae: Calypso Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Around and Back

by Hank Hirsh

Hard bop and some latin influenced tunes. Hirsh writes in the tradition of Horace Silver and Monk and plays in the style of the great Chicago tenors Clifford Jordan, Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Unusual Blues for Boy
6:34 $0.99
2. What Can I Say?
7:01 $0.99
3. Hip-Lypso
4:22 $0.99
4. Hank-Like
4:23 $0.99
5. The Giri-Giri
5:54 $0.99
6. A Buck and Some Change
7:32 $0.99
7. Samba Omocha
4:59 $0.99
8. Daddy's Girl
4:38 $0.99
9. Lost and Found
4:34 $0.99
10. The Pearl
2:43 $0.99
11. Taeko's Tune
4:00 $0.99
12. Blowin' in from Chicago
5:03 $0.99
13. Dirty Henry
1:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Around and Back
The Hank Hirsh Quintet

The Project:

This recording represents the initial offering of compositions by saxophonist Hank Hirsh. The music is simple, straightforward and hip. The tunes are upbeat and melodic and the type that, after a few plays finds the listener whistling or humming to her or himself. The sound is decidedly bebop with some Latin/Caribbean rhythmic influence.

The Players:

Hank Hirsh - Tenor and alto saxophones
Rob Boone - Trombone
Gary Moran - Piano
Scott Black - Bass
Fred Hayes - Drums

Hank Hirsh - is a Chicago native, now living in Portland, Oregon. This project presents him mostly as a tenor player and showcases his fairly recent transition to the instrument from alto.

Gary Moran - is a fine pianist who has drawn from the Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton and Sonny Clark bags to create his personal style. Gary and I worked together extensively on the Chicago jazz scene. In the early 1980's Gary traveled to Japan and was instrumental in convincing me to "come east". We played together all over Japan and other Asian countries before Gary decided to head home to the U.S. He worked in New York and other cities on the East coast before life brought him to Tucson, Arizona, where he now lives, works and teaches. He is one of Tucson's most sought after jazz pianists.

Scott Black - is a great bassist who sounds at once like Paul Chambers, Sam Jones and Scott Black. He has spent time in New York and worked with Gary and me in Chicago. His impeccable taste makes him the first call bassist in Tucson and every other place he has lived or ever will live. He is also a very nice trumpeter and beautiful soul.

Rob Boone - is a wonderful trombonist and a native of Tucson. He is the busiest trombonist in Tucson and certainly puts to rest the joke about the definition of an optimist. His warm personality is felt in his playing and his instinctive ability and flawless technique gave the music on this session exactly the character that I was looking for.

Fred Hayes - is the drummer on this session and, like Rob, is a native of Tucson. He and Rob went to high school together. He is the busiest drummer in town and works often with Gary and Scott in various configurations. His light, sensitive, swinging style provided the solid groove felt here.

The chemistry and groove of this band belies the fact that this was the first time we had played together as a unit.

The Tunes:

1. Unusual Blues for Boy - is not really a blues, but has a lot of the same changes. It is written for my son, Sam who is a talented, aspiring jazz pianist.
2. What Can I Say? - is a walking ballad groove that doesn't seem too popular these days. After Gary's melodic intro Scott lays down a deep groove and Rob states the melody beautifully.
3. Hip-Lypso - is just that; a hip calypso groove, hence the title.
4. Hank-Like - is a blues reminiscent of the original Jazz Messengers groove, which featured Hank Mobley.
5. The Giri-Giri - is a Latin/swing groove. The title means just barely on time in Japanese.
6. A Buck & Some Change - is a blues with a bridge that, at the suggestion of Scott Black was slowed down here to a stroll, rather than the medium- up jog originally intended.
7. Samba Omocha - means toy samba in Japanese. It is a minor Latin cooker.
8. Daddy's Girl - is written for my beautiful daughter, Emi Satya. It is one of three quartet numbers presented here. (Al Cohn and Zoot Sims did not make this session.)
9. Lost & Found - is a modal workout that we all had fun blowing on.
10. The Pearl (Who's Your Favorite Trumpeter?) - is dedicated to my good friend Merle Boley, the most influential musician in my life to date. Both Gary and Scott knew Merle well and we all played together often. Only the melody is stated here and I know Merle heard it. Ask me about the sub-title.
11. Taeko's Tune - is written for my lovely wife and the groove is a bebop calypso. She digs island rhythms and so I wrote this for her.
12. Blowin' in from Chicago (Hank's Theme) - is a little blues number I have used to end sets. The shave-and-a-haircut tag is borrowed from Dexter Gordon and has personal significance. I won't waste your time with that now.
13. Dirty Henry* - is a funky thang with a 5/4 bridge. Due to exhaustion only an outtake is included here. We'll get back to it some time. Exit with a smile.

The Message:

The music here is dedicated to the many great Chicago musicians that inspired and encouraged me in my earlier years. Merle Boley, Tommy Ponce and Boris Smith were most influential.
Music is peace. Music is life.
Music. Peace. Life.

Special thanks to:
Gary Moran for his help, his friendship and his integrity. Around and Back is about karma and I am thankful to have been reunited with him. Scott too. Patty Turrentine
Cover photo by Taeko Hirsh.

Recorded December 21& 22, 2004 at Mattelind Studios, Tucson, Arizona
Engineered by Martin Adriaanse.

For the benefit of all sentient beings.



to write a review

John Hamilton

The Pearl is awesome.
I have not listened to much Jazz in my day, but this CD may have changed my attitude.

Jason Lanning

Great C.D.- Give it a listen!
The Music is upbeat and entertaining. I have had it playing in the reception of my chiropractic clinic since I got it. Both my patients and I get to enjoy it.

Hank Hirsh

Nice music, if I do say so myself. I would add this record to my collection.