Easy listening background to a brilliant sax in front...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 04/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mr. Hawkins is generally considered to be the guy that invented a place in jazz for the tenor sax in the 1920's, paving the way for all the great ones who later dominated classic jazz with that instrument. By January of 1956, when this album was made, Hawkins' style was considered old-fashioned. RCA put him with young Billy Byers, a bandleader, arranger, composer and trombonist, who recruited a group of studio players to back up Coleman on three nights. Each night's work featured a slightly different ensemble, supporting or challenging "The Hawk" in different ways. The final result came off fine, if more lush than bold. This CD runs 69 minutes, with nine alternate takes added to the original dozen tunes from the released LP. Although a couple of the tracks really cook, this is predominately a beautiful, ballad-heavy hour. "Body and Soul" leads it off appropriately, since it probably is the song most heavily associated with Coleman Hawkins. "Dinner for One, Please, James" and "His Very Own Blues" and "There Will Never Be Another You" are all quite pleasing. Nice sounds to accompany a party, dinner, reading, or even making out with your mate form the menu of "The Hawk in Hi Fi.""