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Hank Crawford

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, 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 remained with Charles' band -- becoming its musical director -- until 1963. The phrasing and voicings he learned there proved invaluable to him as the hallmark of his own sound. He also wrote and arranged a tune for Charles. The cut, "Sherry," his first for the band, was put on the Live at Newport album. Crawford cut a slew solo albums for Atlantic while with the band, and when he formed his group, he remained with the label until 1970. He signed with Creed Taylor's Kudu in 1971 and cut a series of fusion-y groove jazz dates through 1982. In 1983 he moved to Milestone and returned to form as a premier arranger, soloist, and composer, writing for small bands -- that included guitarist Melvin Sparks, organist Jimmy McGriff, and Dr. John -- as well as large. Crawford has been constantly active since then, as a leader and sideman, recording the best music of his long career. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Love it
This is the Most
The description of Crawford is just... immaculate.
can't get much better than this!
love the smokey organs and sax too cool
Pandora you guys are awesome
Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff are the greatest Jazz musicians that ever lived. Jimmy McGriff is unbeatable.
hgeorge19
Pandora keep doing what you doning I rrelly enjor this station H George thank you
gwendolynhun t e r
VERY PROUD TO SAY HE WAS MY FAMILY..R.I. P HANK!!
Hank has been my favorite alto player for 50 years. I miss him
archerjake
on the plus side... I'd totally forgotten about the Cruzados
rob4938
No need to leave the same comment about the bio, 'cause you already fixed that, right?
this bio is NOT hank crawford's
jegilford
Sorry, but this is the wrong bio for this artist who is a mainstream Jazz saxophonist. http://en.wi k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / H a n k _ C r a w f o r d
I don't know about the snafu but I do know I like Hank Crawford's music.
bookman09
I concur -- fix the Hank Crawford bio.
Hank Crawford rocks. However, a comment about this site...the "About the Music" bio was not about Hank Crawford. It featured the Cruzados, a rock band of the '80s. Someone needs to fix that.
msklaroff
Anyone know a way to contact Pandora by e-mail to let them know about this snafu?
Not sure where to submit this, but this biography has nothing to do with Hank Crawford and is clearly a case of content management's dark side.
rochesterjr
Pandora...Ha n k has been around for over 50 years!!

Do better for the brother from Memphis Manassas!!
Something's not right here... bio for Cruzados where Hank Crawford's should be. For shame Pandora. For shame.

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