Genres: Jazz, Vocal
Styles: Post-Bop, Hard Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Standards, Jazz Instrument, Piano Jazz, Big Band
As a youngster growing up in Atlantic City, Stan Hope and his friends would climb the roof of the building across from the club where the Count Basie Orchestra was playing. Listening to Basie's band which boasted, among others, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, and Freddie Green, Hope begin thinking that this was what he wanted to do. He was pushed over the line when his aunt gave him records of Erroll Garner playing "Be Anything" and Garner's composition "Pastels" for his birthday. Both these tunes appear on Hope's album Pastels, made for Savant Records in 1998. Hope has little formal piano education, teaching himself on a piano his mother bought when he was 10 years old. He played professionally for 10 years before taking some lessons in order to learn to read. With a career starting in 1949 (at his first gig, he played guitar), and spanning 50 years, Hope has played with many of the giants who habituated East Coast jazz venues. Coleman Hawkins, Hank Mobley, Lorez Alexandria, Johnny Hartman, and Hank Crawford were just few of the performers he's shared the stage with. Hope has played and continues to play at major jazz venues in New York City, including Birdland, the Village Vanguard, and the Blue Note. Since 1985 or so, Hope has occupied the piano chair for vocalist Etta Jones and tenor saxophonist Houston Person, and frequently recorded with them. His album Pastels is his second as leader, having cut an album for Mainstream Records in 1972. With a solid, reliable style shaped by Erroll Garner and Bud Powell as well as by the many variegated jazz performers he has worked with, Stan Hope is about to enter his seventh decade as a working jazz pianist.
- Dave Nathan (All Music Guide)