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Complete Birdland

Solid Jazz SJR 36630



1. Disorder at the Border
2. The Blue Room
3. Stuffy
4. Rifftide
5. I Can't Get Started
6. Disorder at the Border (#2 )
7. All the Things You Are
8. Centerpiece
9. Body and Soul
10. Just You, Just Me
11 Coleman Hawkins Interview

Coleman Hawkins - Tenor sax
Horace Silver - Piano (tracks 1-6)
Roy Eldridge - Trumpet (tracks 1-3)
Howard McGhee - Trumpet (tracks 4-6)
Curley Russell - Bass (tracks 1-6)
Art Blakey - Drums (tracks 1-3)
Connie Kay - Drums (tracks 4-6)
Eddie Higgins - Piano (tracks 7-10)
Bob Cranshaw - Bass (tracks 7-10)
Walter Perkins - Drums (tracks 7-10)


Coleman Hawkins apparently only made two recordings with Horace Silver - for boadcasts from New York's Birdland in 1952. They are released for the first time on CD here, with four bonus tracks recorded in 1959 by Hawkins leading a quartet, plus an interview with Hawk taped at around the same time.

Hawkins and Silver might seem like chalk and cheese, but Hawk had participated in many of the early bebop sessions, so they were not so different after all. Coleman's affinities with bebop are clear right from the opening number - Disorder at the Border, a Hawkins original which reveals beboppish tendencies. Hawk's playing is more forecful than we know from his more restrained performances. Roy Eldridge is his usual extrovert self, and Art Blakey's drums are in danger of drowning out Horace Silver's solo.

The Blue Room calms things down a bit, with Hawkins spinning long threads of melody. The bebop influence continues when Howard McGhee comes in to replace Roy Eldridge. The sound quality is variable on these two broadcasts - often boxy and lacking complete clarity.

Tracks 7 to 10 were recorded at the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1959. Again the sound is not always perfect but these tracks give us the chance to hear Hawk playing extended solos. They include a six-minute revisit to Body and Soul, which Hawkins gives an entirely different twist to his classic 1939 version. And on Harry Edison's Centerpiece, Hawk approaches the honking style of Illinois Jacquet in JATP concerts.

The CD ends with an interview conducted with Coleman Hawkins in London around 1960. Hawk talks about his years in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, and also recalls staying at the same hotel in London as Fats Waller, who brought him his breakfast every morning: a glass of whisky!

Tony Augarde

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