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Frank Hewitt

Frank Hewitt was a fixture on the New York jazz scene since the mid-fifties. Over the years he played regularly with Cecil Payne, Howard McGhee, Charles Davis, and the late saxophone legend Clarence "C" Sharpe. He was the featured artist at Smalls for over eight years until his passing on September 5th, 2002 at age 66. He appeared in the Living Theater's landmark production of "The Connection," and played with Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, John Coltrane, among a long list of notables. Musicians acknowledge him as a master, and the most under-recognized bebop pianist of his generation. His influences were Elmo Hope, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk. At Smalls, he influenced a generation of contemporary artists, and pianists from around the world came to hear him. His few recordings are sought-after collector's items among musicians in New York. After his death, however, his trio recordings began to surface on Smalls Records: "We Loved You," "Not Afraid to Live," "Fresh from the Cooler," and "Out of the Clear Black Sky," and the quintet date "Four Hundred Saturdays."


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171
Album Review

Frank Hewitt: Out of the Clear Black Sky

Read "Out of the Clear Black Sky" reviewed by Jay Deshpande


Because jazz is so fundamentally wound up in its own history, it can often be difficult for fans to accept a new voice. The canon of jazz players is set in stone--how could there be a great voice that we have overlooked? However, there come times for just such paradigm shifts. Frank Hewitt prompts us to do so. Out of the Clear Black Sky is the fifth Hewitt album released on Smalls Records, all of which are ...

176
Album Review

Frank Hewitt: Fresh from the Cooler

Read "Fresh from the Cooler" reviewed by Christopher Shoe


There are few things in this world that the jazz lover can compare to that of hearing a live performance. There is a type of audience participation that is lacking when he sits at home and listens to the album. Perhaps he even finds himself wondering what it would be like to be left alone with the band.

Frank Hewitt's album Fresh from the Cooler is one of those rare moments when the listener is granted the privilege of sitting ...

148
Album Review

The Frank Hewitt Quintet: Four Hundred Saturdays

Read "Four Hundred Saturdays" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli


Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons. Frank Hewitt, as this disc's title suggests, might have done so (albeit with a bit more relish) by counting his Saturdays at Smalls, the New York jazz club where he performed regularly for eight years. Sadly, his renown outside the club only properly began after his death in late 2002. Unless the Smalls label has more Hewitt material stashed away in its archives, this disc is probably the last recorded testament to ...

138
Album Review

The Frank Hewitt Quintet: Four Hundred Saturdays

Read "Four Hundred Saturdays" reviewed by Jim Santella


Recorded August 21, 1999 at one of Frank Hewitt's after-hours sessions at Smalls, this set represents his regular Saturday night quintet feature, which placed the house pianist in close contact with his audience week after week. Hewitt performed at Smalls approximately one thousand times between 1994 and his death in September, 2002.

With his cohesive quintet, the pianist works out extended pieces for this set, giving his audience a swinging groove in which to get all wrapped up, ...

203
Album Review

Frank Hewitt: Not Afraid to Live

Read "Not Afraid to Live" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli


Writing exactly one year ago about We Loved You , the first Frank Hewitt album to be released on the nascent Smalls label, I concluded my review by saying that the rest of the pianist's posthumous recordings couldn't come fast enough. This wasn't a matter of hyperbole or excessive enthusiasm. We Loved You was and remains a superb album, a prize find when playing the (usually) friendly game of one-upmanship that has all jazz fans on the perpetual lookout for ...

108
Multiple Reviews

Frank Hewitt: We Loved You & Not Afraid to Live

Read "Frank Hewitt: We Loved You & Not Afraid to Live" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland


Oh the woebegone days of a jazz musician, as he makes his way toward mastery, accompanying many of the greats, struggling to keep abreast of the industry, make a name for himself, playing nightly at local clubs, garnering a base of fans, but most of them poor musicians themselves... Such was the way of life for pianist Frank Hewitt who on Sept. 5, 2002 died, just over a year before the release of his first album as a leader, We ...

259
Multiple Reviews

Big on Smalls

Read "Big on Smalls" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli


Smalls (aka Fat Cat in its present incarnation) was one of many New York jazz clubs engendered following the repeal of lingering Prohibition-era laws in 1988. Like so many of the peculiar ordinances that persist on the books all over the U.S. – take, for instance, the Alabama legislation declaring it illegal to wear a fake moustache that incites laughter in church – these capped, among other things, the number of musicians able to gather in one place at a ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Out of the Clear...

Smalls Records
2008

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Fresh From the Cooler

Smalls Records
2008

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Out Of The Clear...

Original Jazz Classics
2007

buy

Fresh from the Cooler

Smalls Records
2007

buy

Not Afraid to Live

Smalls Records
2005

buy

Four Hundred Saturdays

Smalls Records
2005

buy

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