Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Complete Recordings (1929-1941)
Genres: Jazz, Pop
SHORT SHRIFT FOR A MAGISTERIAL SAXOPHONIST
Barry McCanna | Normandy, France | 12/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title of this boxed set is quite misleading, because Hawkins was a member of Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra for ten years from 1924, and recorded extensively with that outfit. At a conservative estimate, there are some 80 recordings which should have qualified for inclusion, yet not one appears (although his recordings with Fletcher's brother Horace do). Ignoring for a moment the disparity between the title of this boxed set and its contents, let me now praise what is included.
The first disc kicks off with the Mound City Blue Blowers' two best-known recordings (which date from November 1929) followed by Jack Purvis' three April 1930 recordings, a Red McKenzie vocal from October 1930 (but omitting the other title cut at the same date but similarly unreleased on 78), and four more Blue Blowers titles from June 1931. They are followed by the six sides recorded cojointly with Henry Allen from March and July 1933, and the first three sides recorded under his own name in September 1933, finishing with six sides with Horace Henderson in October (the last of which kicks off the second disc).
In November 1933 he cut another four sides with Red Allen, then in February 1934 four titles with Benny Goodman, with vocals by Mildred Bailey, including an alternate. The following month he recorded three solos with piano accompaniment by Buck Washington, then left for Europe, recording another four solos in London with Stanley Black. All of which are highly acclaimed as demonstrating his complete mastery of the tenor saxophone.
The remainder of the second disc is set in Holland where he recorded with The Ramblers, and the five titles and their alternates carry over onto disc three. He was in Paris in March 1935 and recorded with Michel Warlop, and his further Continental recordings in Hilversum and Paris bring us up to June 1938, and track 11 on disc 5. The following year Hawk decided to turn for home, pausing in London in May 1939 long enough to record two sides with a specially-constituted Jack Hylton group.
Back in New York, he cut four sides with his orchestra in October 1939, followed in January 1940 by another four with his All-Star Octet. In May he teamed up with Benny Carter's studio group The Chocolate Dandies for four titles and the alternate takes (six in one case!) run across onto the final disc. Four titles by his own orchestra, two by the Metronome All-Star Band (a poll winners formation) and two titles with Count Basie plus alternates bring this set to its conclusion.
To summarise, this is a fine set, which contains many sides which you'd have to search hard for elsewhere. Remastering is excellent, and I would have awarded five stars but for the misleading and quite unnecessary claim as to the complete nature of the contents.