Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

407

Coleman Hawkins: At Ease with Coleman Hawkins

Matt Cibula By

Sign in to view read count
In this crazy run-around world where we never really have time to stop and appreciate all the good things in our lives, it is pretty hard to make time for Coleman Hawkins. But that is precisely why it is so important to do so. They really never invented a saxophone player better than him, and very few musicians have ever gotten closer to what jazz is supposed to be.

At Ease with Coleman Hawkins, originally released in 1960, is like a 42-minute journey into Zen simplicity, with a touch of sexy swagger on the side. Many people today have forgotten just how good the Bean was at this stage of his career. But just because none of the work here is as revolutionary as his work in the 1920s, '30s or '40s doesn't mean these songs aren't full of beauty and invention. His work here on "Then I'll Be Tired of You" starts off kind of sleepy, all loopy Dean Martin phrases, and then gets slightly more beboppy as things go on, until he sounds like Sonny Rollins or someone like that. (Funny quotation work in this solo too!) And there's no mistaking his majesty on the ancient chestnut "At Dawning" or his predatory stroll through the just-as-ancient "Poor Butterfly."

But At Ease is not just all pretty notes and assurance. Hawkins was smart to have bopper Tommy Flanagan as his pianist here—you can hear the two push each other on the opener, "For You, For Me, Forevermore," generations teaching each other how to cook. Flanagan's beautiful intro on "Mighty Like a Rose" ends up presaging his pretty solo two minutes later. And the rhythm section stars throughout. Osie Johnson's drumming is always amazing, but Wendell Marshall deserves special marks for his bass line at the start of "I'll Get By."

This recording isn't fiery or out there, but it's about as solid as one can be, and it proves (for about the millionth time) the mastery of Coleman Hawkins. So what's not to love?

Track Listing: For You, For Me, Forevermore; While We're Young; Then I'll Be Tired of You; Mighty Like a Rose; At Dawning; Trouble Is a Man; Poor Butterfly; I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You).

Personnel: Coleman Hawkins: tenor saxophone; Tommy Flanagan: piano; Wendell Marshall: bass; Osie Johnson: drums.

Title: At Ease with Coleman Hawkins | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Prestige Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019
Read Music! Music! Music! Album Reviews
Music! Music! Music!
By Doug Collette
May 20, 2019
Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019