Search - Coleman Hawkins :: Supreme

Coleman Hawkins
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Coleman Hawkins in top form, recorded live at the Baltimore Left Bank Jazz Society with excellent sound quality.


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CD Details

All Artists: Coleman Hawkins
Title: Supreme
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Enja
Original Release Date: 4/20/1995
Re-Release Date: 4/18/1995
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Swing Jazz, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 063757900924


Album Description
Coleman Hawkins in top form, recorded live at the Baltimore Left Bank Jazz Society with excellent sound quality.

CD Reviews

Dramatic,pathetic,and magnificent : M A S T E R P I E C E !!
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 06/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Be careful, this is an incredible monument in the history of jazz.A gem.A milestone. A desperate masterpiece. Two of these six tunes rank among the greatest treasures of this music: "Body and soul" and "quintessence".But we'll talk about these tunes later.The first impression is given by Coleman Hawkins' picture:he's old,with a bearded face,and seems completely troubled.This is a pathetic picture of the King of tenor saxophone,the man who generated dozens of geniuses and great players,the absolute master of this instrument with Lester Young.
Recorded live at the Left Bank Jazz Society,Baltimore,MD,September 25,1966,this CD includes Gene Taylor on bass,the great Roy Brooks on drums,and the immense Barry Harris on piano.Coleman Hawkins was in the last years of his life (he'll die in 1969),and probably aged 62 or 65 at the time this set was captured.One of the most amazing geniuses of jazz was ending his life tragically,and was killing himself with whiskey.A sad love affair caused this ruin.The result is this outstanding hour of music,a tragic one,because the Bean can't blow like he would;a magnificent one,because this destitute man,even if he's out of breath, manages to reach the highest musical levels of emotion and beauty.Just like Paul Gonsalves in his Black Lion record with Earl Hines,or Pres in his last efforts,or Billie in her "Lady in satin" album.It's time to give a special thank to the trio,who does the best to help Hawk and make him comfortable,and to the audience,who could have disapproved,but who applauses and gives love to the old master.
Now,about the music: the very long "lover,come back to me",is played at a fast tempo,which causes many troubles to Hawkins;it will essentially be played by Barry Harris.Of course,Hawk's musical ideas are still here,but he can't blow them correctly."In walked Bud",a tune by Thelonious Monk,dedicated to Bud Powell,gives Hawk an opportunity to quote "blue skies"."Fine and dandy" is another fast tempo;and Hawk has the same troubles than on "lover" or "in walked Bud";his fingers aren't as fast as his thoughts,even if he manages to swing,rememebering the good old days.He even has some terrific blowing,some shades of his glorious past,even if his sound hasn't the roughness and authority anymore.
"Body and soul" definitely belongs to Hawk since 1939,and this ten minutes long version is played as if it was his last chance to blow it.This is simply sublime.Just as Paul Gonsalves' "over the rainbow" or Billie's "violets for your furs".Ten gigantic minutes of music.There are extraordinary moments of swing and tenderness here;dramatic seconds,when Hawk manages to blow one of his old phrases and brings us thirty years back;and incredible moment of emotion,a few seconds after the beginning of Barry Harris solo:Hawk comes back blowing,because this is HIS tune,because he'll maybe never blow it anymore,and Barry stops immediately his solo,very intellingently ,to let the King do it completely.Listen carefully to the audience's reactions in this tune: Hawk was really facing marvelous people this night.Finally,"quintessence",a splendid and melancholic tune by Quincy Jones,gives Hawk another opportunity to play a gigantic masterpiece;what he plays is rather simple and close to the melody,he knows he can't improvise like he did;but what he plays is a treasure of swing and a pure moment of beauty.I'm allways amazed by the intelligence of the trio,who doesn't try to balance Hawkins' playing,which is reduced to essentials,but who only supports him and let him freedom to do what he can.Again,a somptuous reaction from the audience after Hawk's solo: they were facing a giant,they heard terrific music,and they knew it.
The reverse of the booklet has a very sad picture of Hawk,walking in the night;looking at it,I think of Sam Woodyard in his last years;same hat,same overcoat,same rigid attitude;same despair,too.This is,for me,an extremely important record,a magnificent swan song,the last highlight of one of the most prestigious geniuses of jazz."