157

Hampton Hawes: Bird Song

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
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 bop and his lengthy Los Angeles residency was a chief reason behind the music’s ascendency out west.

Both of these dates find Hawes in near peak form and benefit immeasurably from the presence of two top flight bassists. Recognizing the stature of the string magicians at his disposal Hawes opens up the majority of tunes for solo spots from both bass players. The redoubtable Mr. P.C. is comes first and his lines are up to his customary standards of excellence, though he curiously neglects his bow in favor of fingers on all of the pieces. To my ears few sounds are as unanimously pleasing as Chambers’ seemingly limitless inventions on his four strings. Marable’s traps keep alacritous time and the three superlative technicians prance through an attractive program of standards and the stray original from Hawes. Sadly the second trio isn’t given as much time together as the first and only turns in three tunes. LaFaro exhibits an agility on his instrument that speaks again to the tragedy of his demise at such an early age as the victim of a car crash. His sturdy solo on “I’ll Remember April” offers the rare chance to hear him improvise with bow.

Hawes’ trio recordings of the 50s are among the finest examples of small ensemble hard bop created on California shores. With these new discoveries not only is his discography bolstered, but listeners are also given another window into his art at a time when it was at it’s zenith. This disc is valuable document and should be consulted by anyone who appreciates resourceful and resonant piano trio jazz.

Collective


Track Listing: Big Foot/ Ray

Personnel: Collective Hampton Hawes- piano; Paul Chambers- double bass; Lawrence Marable-drums; Scott LaFaro- double bass; Frank Butler- drums.

| Record Label: Contemporary | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Bring Their ‘A’ Game" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Their ‘A’ Game
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Americana" CD/LP/Track Review Americana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Shuffle Along" CD/LP/Track Review Shuffle Along
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Eros" CD/LP/Track Review Eros
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!