Born: December 10, 1947 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jim and Martha Hession have been fixtures on the jazz scene for decades.
Jim Hession grew up in Pasadena, California, where he studied piano with composer Oscar Rasbach. By the time he was 20, Jim was a fixture in the traditional jazz scene, with his incredibly accurate two-handed piano style. A founding member of the Maple Leaf Club, Jim received his degree in composition from U.C.L.A., where he studied under Paul Chihara and Lalo Schifrin. Jim then met and began recording with the legendary Eubie Blake. While recording with Eubie Blake in New York, Jim began exploring more contemporary jazz venues, while retaining his handle on traditional jazz styles like ragtime, stride and boogie-woogie....
...pianist Jim Hession's mastery of stride, boogie and so much more gets everyone smiling, not to mention swaying and stomping, from the jump. Lee Horvitz (6.2008) American Travel Journal
Talented and versatile pianist Jim Hession has an eclectic mix on his new piano CD, revealing his technical skills and powerful left hand... Tom Jacobson,Mississippi Rag (8.2008)
Martha sang Billie Holiday's 'Lover Man' with ease, one of the 10,000 tunes in their repertoire...Jim is the most electrifying pianist I have ever heard-brilliant,talented and issues a relaxed sense of professional candor... -David Cate,Tri-Cities TN Citizen Blog(9.2007)
Their musical credentials are impeccable. But the great gift of Jim & Martha Hession is the showmanship with which they create the sound and style, decade by decade, of this century's American popular song. Jim Hession is a master of stride piano technique and modern interpretive jazz arrangements. -John Mahoney, Los Angeles Times
Interpretive arrangements showcase their skills most dazzlingly. -Daily Variety
There is no one else like Jim Hession. If there is a definition of jazz, that is it. -Dean Johnson, Orlando Sentinel-Star
I'm a fan of the Hessions. They have entertained and excited me with their music in the years since we met. -Max Morath
...pros like the Lion (Willie The Lion Smith and Jim Hession, a young pianist out in California. Oh, he gives me fits every time I hear him - people like Fatha Hines, the Lion, Jim Hession, they give me fits. -Eubie Blake
...[Martha's] operatic training was obvious as she moved her four-octave voice into the high range, where even Ella can get a little soft. But Hession is in solid jazz vibrato. -Lawrence Enscoe, Los Angeles Daily News