With an unmistakable blues wail, full of emotion and poignancy, altoist Hank Crawford bridges the gap between that tradition and that of jazz more completely than any other living horn player.
Born in Memphis, TN, (December 21, 1934) Crawford was steeped in the blues tradition from an early age. He began playing piano but switched to alto when his father brought one home from the army. He claims his early influences as Louis Jordan, Earl Bostic, and Johnny Hodges. Crawford hung out with Phineas Newborn Jr., Booker Little, and George Coleman in high school. Upon graduating, Crawford played in bands fronted by Ike Turner, B.B. King, Junior Parker, and Bobby "Blue" Bland at Memphis' Palace Theater and Club Paradise.
In 1958 Crawford went to college in Nashville where he met Ray Charles. Charles hired Crawford originally as a baritone saxophonist. Crawford switched to alto in 1959 and...