- Sweethearts on Parade
- And So To Sleep Again
- Itís No Sin
- Lost In a Fog
- Midnight Sun
- If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight)
- I Canít Get Started
- Where Is Your Heart?
- Itís Only a Paper Moon
- Beanís Talking Again
- I Surrender Dear
- Sophisticated Lady
- My Blue Heaven
- Honeysuckle Rose
- Organ Grinder Swing
Coleman Hawkins made the tenor saxophone into the
leading jazz instrument it is today. He was by far the most accomplished
saxophone player of his time. When bebop came along in the 40ís, he
was able to adapt and take on the new style with more ease than any
of his contemporaries. He had a superb technique and a wonderful sound,
which made him instantly recognisable.
This portrait of ĎThe Hawkí is of the period 1949
to 1952; he is recorded with various front line partners Rex Stewart,
Tyree Glenn, Benny Harris, Idrees Sulieman, Mathew Gee, Joe Wilder,
Nat Peck plus some others who are not named. There are also some quartet
sessions in a programme that has a lot of variety and includes many
Perdido and Sweethearts on Parade have Hawk in a
band with Rex Stewart and Tyree Glenn on which there is some nice
guitar from Billy Bauer, as usual in these kind of bands Hawk overshadows
everyone, even though the other members all play well. Rex Stewart
was a fine cornet player, as any Ellington fan will testify he also
solos well here.
The next two tracks were made a year later, the first
has Hawk in ballad style, showing off his magnificent tone and lyrical
style. The tone is shown off to even better effect on track 5, where
he plays with an unidentified string section. Similar comments apply
to track 7 where he is again featured with strings. But come to think
of it, itís true of every track! The sleeve does not identify the
vibes player on tracks 9 & 10 but to me it sounds like Lionel
Hampton, nobody plays the vibes like Hamp. If it is he doesnít get
much chance to play, because Hawk plays all the way through the tracks!
Tracks 13 to 18 were recorded in Paris with a rhythm
section that included Kenny Clarke, who was resident in France at
that time. Nat Peck plays trombone and the group has a nice light
sound. I like all this group of tracks but Sophisticated Lady is a
gem, never an easy tune to play, Hawk gives it the full treatment.
The final set of 3 tracks is with Cozy Coleís Big
Seven and probably comes from the same session as the first 2 tracks.
Very listenable again, Tyree Glennís trombone leading us into an Ellingtonian
theme statement on Blue Heaven.
This is excellent tenor sax from one of the all time
Ďgreatsí on the instrument. There are a lot of Coleman Hawkins recordings
about, the Hawk played for money. If there was a recording session
he could make, he would do it, Thankfully the supporting musicians
on all these tracks are excellent and the record is worthy of its
place on the shelves of any serious jazz collector.