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West Coast Piano: Dave Brubeck, Hampton Hawes, Nat King Cole (1944 - 1959)

Read "West Coast Piano: Dave Brubeck, Hampton Hawes, Nat King Cole (1944 - 1959)" reviewed 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 ...

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Hampton Hawes: Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes

Read "Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes" reviewed 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 ...

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Hampton Hawes: The Sermon

Read "The Sermon" reviewed 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 ...

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Hampton Hawes: The Sermon

Read "The Sermon" reviewed 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 ...

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Hampton Hawes: Bird Song

Read "Bird Song" reviewed 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 ...

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Hampton Hawes: Blues The Most

Read "Blues The Most" reviewed 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 ...


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