The Hank Hirsh Quintet
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The Hank Hirsh Quintet

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The Hank Hirsh Quintet has a beautiful chemistry. The originals are interesting, fiery, soulful, hip and unusual. The players are of the highest caliber. The youngest member of the group is Sam, pianist and son of Hank. He is 16 and smokin'. Great things in store for this boy. Chris Conrade, formerly legendary bassists Leroy Vinnegar's favorite drummer, has played with many big names and continues still. His commitment to this band is spiritual, ideological and personal. Dave "Bones" is a fine, swinging trombonist out of the J.J. Johnson mold. One of Portland's busier session players. Dave Speranza, a college student, and one of Portland's top up and coming bassists.
This band plays with a lot of integrity. Although the players are all excellent soloists, the band's strength lies in its ensemble sound. Hirsh's compositions are perfect for this instrumentation because he writes them that way. Their live performances are super high energy, and relaxed. The leader has a wonderful sense of humor and great rapport with his audiences. He has also been known to sing a tune occasionally when the mood strikes.
This is a band that does not compromise. Integrity of the music is of the highest priority.
Hear them live and feel the true meaning of jazz. Here are five men who speak a common language both on and off the stage. A soulful mix of talent, creativity and unquestionable dedication to the art of jazz music make this one of the finest bands around. Around and Back you'll be. Dig!
- Extended Chord


Around And Back

For those wondering where to find the "good" Jazz, look no further. Saxophonist Hank Hirsh and company have released a gem in Around and Back, a thirteen track CD guaranteed to restore your faith in the genre's vitality.

Joining Hirsh on this set are Rob Boone on trombone, pianist Gary Moran, bassist Scott Black, and Fred Hayes on drums. According to the liner notes, this was the first time these five gentlemen had played together as a band; however, the ensuing chemistry gives one the impression of a long-time history as an ensemble.

Around and Back works its way through various stylistic grooves, creating an overall dynamic of motion from start to finish. From the kick-start of "Unusual Blues For Boy", a cool finger-snapping tune featuring a round of solos from everyone, you know you've got the real deal.

"What Can I Say?" takes it down to a slower pace, only to kick up a notch again for "Hip-Lypso", a Caribbean-flavored jaunt with a serpentine melody. Things are brought to a boil with "Hank-Like" and the Latin swinger "The Giri-Giri."

More highlights include the intense "Lost and Found"; a wistful ballad, "The Pearl (Who's Your Favorite Trumpeter?)"; an impossibly infectious "Taeko's Tune"; the hard-swingin' "Blowin' in From Chicago (Hank's Theme)"; and the ultra-funky "Dirty Henry", presented only as an outtake, but still a fun piece nonetheless.

The Hank Hirsh Quintet has delivered a masterwork in Around and Back, which will surely please Jazz aficionados everywhere.

Songs From Around and Back:

Hip-Lypso

Blowin' in From Chicago (Hank's Theme)

5.0 STARS
- Maurice Edwards - Evolution of Media



Lost and Found - Hank Hirsh
A gentle jazz groove with adept, dynamic playing. Lost and Found is a great example of a jazzy sound! Good trombone solo!

What Can I Say - Hank Hirsh
Beautifully lush and mellow, Hirsh finally brings his Chicago-style jazz to Portland.
- Carlos Kalmar - Conductor of Oregon Symphony


Despite a 30-year career and a behind-the-beat, edgy, you-want-to-make-something-of-it, tough tenor sound, Hirsh isn't known so well in these parts. You can hear in the Chicago native's sax playing marvelously biting echoes of Windy City greats like Clifford Jordan and Lin Halliday, among others. For this outing, Hirsh leads a young quartet( including son Sam, a promising pianist) through a couple sets of hard-bop tinged cookers. - Tim Duroche - Willamette Week


Discography

Around and Back - released January 2005
Seekin' and Speakin' - released 2007

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Hank Hirsh (503) 504.3323
hankhirsh@hotmail.com

has studied saxophone technique and improvisation with prominent Chicago saxophonists Edward Petersen, Peter Grenier, Tommy Ponce, Rich Corpolongo and Lin Halliday. Studied music theory with Lionel Bordelon and James Mack of Loop College, Chicago.
Has lead his own bands in various configurations since 1978. Has worked in many of Chicago’s big bands; Loop College Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Society Swing Band, Lionel Bordelon’s Jazz Attack Big Band, The Lee Roland Orchestra. Hank Hirsh/Merle Boley Quintet performed in Chicago for several years in the 1980’s in clubs, festivals and radio broadcasts.
Has worked and played with Tommy Ponce, Ira Sullivan, Clifford Jordan, Von Freeman, Roy Haynes, Othello Molineaux, Tyler Mitchell, Hamid Drake, Julie Ponce, Anne Pringle, Robert Barry, Brienn Perry, Sunnyland Slim, Erwin Helfer, Barcelona Red, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Bob Dogan, Gary Moran, Jim Cooper as well as many others in Chicago.
In Japan he led his own band, which included Gary Moran on piano. They performed extensively throughout the country and in Southeast Asia. He played with George Kawaguchi, Japan’s most famous drummer and with Isao Suzuki the acoustic bass patriarch of Japan. His Japanese band performed at the Osaka Blue Note opposite the Oscar Peterson/Ray Brown quartet, then again opposite Ana Caram.
Presently he is interested in the tenor/trombone front line for his quintet and writing with that instrumentation in mind.
In January 2005 he released a CD of original music, Around and Back It can be previewed at www.hankhirsh.com. Plans to record another CD of new material are in the works for 2006.