Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Master at his Masterful Best
jive rhapsodist | NYC, NY United States | 08/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You can (and should) get some of these tracks in better sound elsewhere. But you can't get them all together anywhere else. So you have to own this disc, whether in object or virtual form. Not only is this some of Hawkins' finest recorded work, but this is also one of the clearest documents of what the transition of Swing to Bop actually consisted of - which harmonic elements, which rhythmic elements. A propos of all of that, the least interesting session here (it's still pretty good) is one where Hawkins is joined by his fellow dyed - in - the - wool Swingsters (Roy Eldridge, Teddy Wilson, etc.). Elegant disquisitions.But nothing more. On the other hand, the Esquire All - Stars session is like opening a door and seeing exactly where Jazz was at at that moment (Dec. 4, 1943). The track Mop Mop is an older brother to the soon - to - be ubiquitous Salt Peanuts. The link? Drummer Sid Catlett, who plays like a dream. Listen to the fire he lights under Cootie Williams! And Art Tatum shows what a great ensemble player he could be when he wanted to. And there's the 21 - year old Oscar Pettiford, absolutely undaunted by playing with such high-powered elder statesmen. And why is the rhythm section on the famed Dec. 23, 1943 session (Eddie Heywood - piano, Pettiford, Shelly Manne - drums) one of the greatest that ever recorded? It certainly doesn't scream that off the page. But listening (The Man I Love, Get Happy) is believing. Shrewd readers will notice that these dates took place during the 1942-44 recording ban. Well, it seems some small labels flew under the radar and stockpiled, knowing that it would all get resolved eventually. Lucky for us! Last but not least is the session of Feb. 16, 1944, often called the first real Be-Bop recording. I still find it pretty transitional. Dizzy's tune Woody n' You definitely hits all the early Bop harmonic and rhythmic markers. But the riffing is more late swing, and Hawkins' solo lives in that special rarified Hawkins world where Swing and "more modern" elements chase each others tails. The drive of it definitely belongs to the more muscular aspects of later Swing playing. Bu-Dee-Daht, which is essentially a collection of some up-to-date ideas about chord changes and playing on them, contains more - or - less the same balance between older and newer elements. Hawkins sails through it magisterially, Dizzy is less sure, but of course newer in his conception. And the rhythm section (Clyde Hart - piano, Pettiford, Max Roach - drums) is in deep Talmudic discussion about which way to hang. Fascinating. It's all fascinating. One of my favorite CD's."