(John Hicks – piano) Solo jazz albums are distinctive. Piano Legends like Bill Evans, Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk and Keith Jarrett were successful in different combos, but still found time to explore their lyricism and improvisational skills in solo outings. Most jazz pianists also chose this path. One of them was John Hicks. While not as publicly renowned as some players, he began his career working with blues singers. After moving to New York, he played with Art Blakey and Betty Carter. As a session musician, he played on more than 300 recordings. Additionally, Hicks recorded over 30 albums as a band leader. His style was a hybrid of hard bop, swing and free jazz. Never relying simply on flashy runs, Hicks was committed to distilling the melodic essence of a song. He was regarded as a “musician’s musician”, and left a significant legacy on the jazz landscape.