Jake Hanna, a versatile jazz drummer who played with Woody Herman and Merv Griffin\'s television show among others, has passed away. He was 78 years old. The drummer died Friday, February 12, 2010 at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center of complications from a bone marrow disease.
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Jake Hanna was highly regarded for his unerring sense of time, his ability to control a band at any tempo and his refined musical taste.
He was born as John Edwin Hanna in Dorchester, Massachusetts on April 4, 1931. He started playing drums as a teenager.
Jake performed with Woody Herman in 1957 and the early 1960s, then joined Merv Griffin\'s band, in which he played until 1975. The drummer moved to the West Coast when the show relocated from New York to Los Angeles.
After his relocation Jake worked with numerous bands, including Supersax, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Bill Berry, and co-led an occasional small group with Carl Fontana.
Although highly skilled in all aspects of his profession, Jack Hanna was one of the most self-effacing drummers in jazz, happy to urge a band along with subtilety and discret dynamics.