Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.
by Allison Palmer
He was my maternal grandmother's nephew, the thin, handsome relation who grew to befriend my uncle Bob--also thin and handsome--and become a fixture of the postwar jazz scene in jny: Los Angeles. Having worked amid luminaries of the era, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and Dexter Gordon among them, Hampton was always a fascinating topic of discussion for us. On so many occasions, I sat with my uncle, mother, and grandmother at the dining room table, remembering the rich history of ...read more
by Russell Perry
In the last hour, we heard from Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope and Herbie Nichols--three closely associated New York pianists in the 1950s. In this hour, we'll return to the West Coast and another trio of pianists representing some of the widely divergent strains of jazz in the 1950s. Nat “King" Cole was famous first as a swinging pianist, who then developed into a hugely popular ballad singer. Hampton Hawes, a former Charlie Parker band mate, developed bebop into a highly ...read more
by David Rickert
If everybody likes Hampton Hawes, why is he such a neglected figure today? Maybe it's because he is neither an innovator like Bud Powell nor an expressionist like Bill Evans. Maybe it was because he spent his time on the West Coast instead of the East Coast. Or maybe with covers like these, his albums get put in the children's section by mistake.
Whatever the reason, Hawes was a sturdy accompanist and a pianist who was capable of turning out ...read more
by David Rickert
Hawes recorded The Sermon a few days before he was sent to prison for five years on drug charges. The session remained imprisoned for much longer, only receiving a brief release after Hawes’ death. Finally out on CD, The Sermon, as one might expect, is an album of spirituals and church hymns given the jazz treatment. This concept has been tried before, but many of these projects are too solemn and reverent, or feature less jazz than gospel. Hawes wisely ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Grace under pressure
While the West Coast Jazz pianist are not was well known as their East Coast brothers. However, the West Coast did produce their share of fine pianists. Dolo Coker, Carl Perkins, and Gene Russell just to mention three. Perhaps the best of the West Coast bunch was Hampton Hawes, a sort of Bud Powell filtered through a Los Angeles sensibility.
Hawes began his career backing Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray in the late 1940s. He ...read more
by Derek Taylor
Here are two previously unreleased Hawes sessions that until now have been collecting dust on the vault shelves for nearly five decades extricated by the particularly persistent producer Eric Miller for listeners’ approval. Anyone familiar with Hawes will immediately recognize what a find these recordings are. Hawes was the consummate obstacle to critics who sought to paint the West Coast solely in the stereotypic colors of Cool Jazz. His pianistic language was one couched in the hotter dialects of hard ...read more
by Douglas Payne
Blues the Most gathers ten vintage blues tracks that West Coast pianist Hampton Hawes (1928-1977) recorded between 1955 and 1958 and adds one track from 1976. The 11 tunes are taken from six of Hawes's Contemporary LPs ( Hampton Hawes Trio, For Real!, This is Hampton Hawes: Vol. 2, Four!, Hampton Hawes At The Piano, Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes and All Night Session ) and offer a fair representation of how Hawes applies his bop background to ...read more