Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Body & Soul
Genres: Jazz, Pop
This CD compiles several Coleman Hawkins sessions recorded between 1939 and 1956, capturing the masterful tenor saxophonist at the height of the swing era, in the midst of the bop revolution, and at the helm of large orche... more »
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This CD compiles several Coleman Hawkins sessions recorded between 1939 and 1956, capturing the masterful tenor saxophonist at the height of the swing era, in the midst of the bop revolution, and at the helm of large orchestras. While the quality of his accompaniments varies tremendously, Hawkins's contributions don't. The earliest session climaxes with his classic solo version of "Body and Soul," a landmark in both the harmonic language of jazz and improvised musical architecture. Another four tracks come from a 1940 octet date with some of Hawkins's old associates from the Fletcher Henderson band, Benny Carter (on trumpet here) and J.C. Higginbotham on trombone, along with the underrated clarinetist Danny Polo. It's small-group swing of the first order, with touches of traditional jazz in the improvised ensembles. Tadd Dameron wrote the arrangements for a 1947 band that includes trumpeter Fats Navarro, trombonist J.J. Johnson, pianist Hank Jones, and drummer Max Roach. While the horns all solo fluently on Dameron's "Half Step Down, Please," it's the three ballad features for the leader that stand out, Hawkins drawing inspiration from Dameron's moodily dense harmonies. The settings are pedestrian at best for a series of 1956 recordings, with Billy Byers and Manny Albam writing arrangements. Hawkins bristles with individuality, whether soaring over a substantial big band on "The Bean Stalks Again," cutting a new path through a cluttered "Body and Soul," or counterposing his ruggedly magisterial horn to still fussier arrangements of "I Love Paris" and "Under Paris Skies." --Stuart Broomer
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Not enough Hawk
Johnny Hodges | Clark Fork, ID United States | 05/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Referring to the 19 track RCA incarnation of this title:
This is 5 star material, as is most Coleman Hawkins. He is presented with half a dozen all-star orchestra and small groups recorded between 1939 and 1956. A swell way for the unintiated to get aquainted with the Mother of all (tenor) sax players. To hear the Hawk is to hear them all: you'll find shades of every tenor from Adderly to Rollins. The selections are carefully chosen for artistic merit and variety. The sound quality is quite good, even on the older sides.
The problem is, as an overview it is too narrow. Spend the extra money to get the 2CD "Retrospective 1929-1963" which contains 40 tracks, including all those on this CD. The Hawk is too huge a jazz legend to be captured on a dozen CDs, but at least the expanded release covers a sizeable chunk of his career. If you cheap it out and buy this one, you'll love it but in retrospect you'll wish you'd gotten the 2CD version.
Postscript 12/01/06: Although the 1929-1963 Retrospective is no longer available at Amazon, check out the $9 Quadromania 4CD set. Not quite as good audio quality, but a lot of bang for the buck. A lot of the Quadromania Fletcher Henderson trax feature Hawk, and he is prominent in Disk 4 of the Quadromania Pee Wee Russell collection.
Title doesn't lie -- it's Jazz with soul (and body)
Doug | 07/28/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A favorite and classic Jazz CD -- all six songs are excellent, the sound quality is great as well, and, something like "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, it's considered by some a "must have" Jazz performance."
Stark Raving Mad - The Life and Music Of The Hawk
Shawn Carter | Pheonix, AZ | 04/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Coleman Hawkins is not just one of jazz's best musicians but one of america's. Indeed he has many claims to fame - Practically bringing the Tenor to the public, and possibly inspiring the be-bop with his (at the time) extemely free and at times lengthy solo's. It would take a very long time to list the musicians who were under his influence (Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Charlie Rouse to name a few). The sets compiled on this cd, sound terrific. I have never heard music from 1939-1949 sound so great. Even though this disc ranges from 1939-1956 it flows extremly well together. Hawk dosen't change his style as much as the muscians around him do. Early on this set has a very 1/2, Train/March sound to the rhythm. Then be-bop hits, and Fats Navarro and Max Roach are with him, even Hawk adjusts for these sessions to a certian extent. The last sessions are are Hawk with Strings, are excellent. There is always a debate as to who is the classic king of the tenor? Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young, it is impossible to say, they both deserve the title. Also check out the extremly fun "Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins" for more hawk."