Hugh Lawson (March 12, 1935 – March 11, 1997), was an American jazz pianist from Detroit who worked with Yusef Lateef for more than 10 years. Inspired by Bud Powell, Hampton Hawes and Bill Evans, Lawson first gained recognition for his work with Yusef Lateef during the late '50s. He recorded with Harry "Sweets" Edison (1962), Roy Brooks, and Lateef on several occasions in the 1960s. In 1972, he performed with "The Piano Choir" (Strata-East), a group with seven pianists including Stanley Cowell and Harold Mabern. He went on to tour with Charles Mingus in 1975 and 1977 and made recordings with Charlie Rouse (1977), George Adams, and as a leader. He died of colon cancer in White Plains, NY, March 11, 1997, at the age of 61.
Hugh Lawson spent many years as a working and recording member of Yusef Lateef's excellent quartet and has also performed with the late Dinah Washington, Roy Eldridge, Kenny Burrell, Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Stitt and Charles Mingus among others. Also worthy of mention are his contributions to another excellent group, the Piano Choir, whose other members are also highly respected by many others in the jazz piano circle. This album is Hugh's first opportunity to record as a leader (1977). He has a formidable technique and a style reminiscent of that of Bud Powell but he has also absorbed much of what has happened in the world of modern jazz piano playing and molded it into a very personal and exciting style.