Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time

Read "Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time" reviewed by Arthur R George

Fifty years ago this past year, Coleman Hawkins, considered the father of tenor saxophone in jazz, passed away. Thelonious Monk was pacing back and forth in the hallway outside Hawkins' hospital room when the saxophonist succumbed at age 64 on the morning of May 19, 1969, from pneumonia and other complications. Monk was holding a short stack of albums that Hawkins had gifted him just before being hospitalized. With Monk was the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, attendant to ...

RADIO

Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Pettiford and More

Read "Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Pettiford and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we start with veteran Toronto jazz sax cat Joey Berkley and then move to legends like Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, Clifford Brown and Louis Armstrong. We also profile new work by Dave Bass, Gretje Angell, Miguel Zenón and Roberto Magris. From there, we hear some Twin Peaks music from Johnny Jewel and wrap it all up with the great Oscar Pettiford. Playlist Joey Berkley Band “Loss and Found" Moving Forward (Independent) 00:00 Host talks 7:00 Sonny ...

RADIO

The Ascent of the Tenor - Coleman Hawkins (1929 - 1939)

Read "The Ascent of the Tenor - Coleman Hawkins (1929 - 1939)" reviewed by Russell Perry

The clarinet dominated the reeds throughout the 1920s. Sidney Bechet made a stand with the soprano sax and Frankie Trumbauer celebrated the lightness of the C-melody sax. And then there was Coleman Hawkins. Our guest in this hour is Jeff Decker—saxophonist, composer, educator and member of the jazz performance faculty of the University of Virginia— McIntyre School of Music. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 McKinney's Cotton Pickers “Wherever There's a Will" from Put It There (Frog) 3:03 ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Tenor Saxophone

Read "Tenor Saxophone" reviewed by Bob Bernotas

Invented in the early 1840s, the saxophone was a relative latecomer to music--and to jazz. But starting in the mid-1920s, with the rise of the big bands, the instrument slowly but steadily evolved from a vaudeville novelty into a staple in the mainstream of jazz. Of the different varieties of saxophone, the tenor and the alto have been the most widely used, the baritone and soprano somewhat less so. During the decade, Coleman Hawkins appeared as the first important tenor ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Coleman Hawkins

Read "Coleman Hawkins" reviewed by Henk de Boer

Although Adolphe Sax actually invented the saxophone, in the jazz world the title “Father of the Tenor Saxophone" became justly associated with Coleman Hawkins (1904 -1969), not only an inventive jazz giant but also the founder of a whole dynasty of saxophone players. Before Hawkins, the saxophone (itself “born" in 1846) was mainly a favorite in marching bands and something of a novelty instrument in circus acts and vaudeville shows. Indeed, at age 16, Coleman started out with such a ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Love for Sale and Other Essays

Read "Love for Sale and Other Essays" reviewed by Clifford Thompson

This article appears from the story “For Bean" Love for Sale and Other Essays by Clifford Thompson (Autumn House Press, 2013). I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in a semi-detached brick house in Washington, D.C. The house from which it was not detached belonged to my aunt and uncle; my great-aunt and great-uncle lived in the house on the other side of them; and still another aunt and uncle were up the street. People ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Coleman Hawkins: The High and Mighty Hawk

Read "The High and Mighty Hawk" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Recorded in England in 1958, this little-known session, originally released on the obscure Felsted label, is an inarguable gem. Perhaps even the word “masterpiece" is not too much of a stretch. It's doubtful that the putative “father of the tenor saxophone," Coleman Hawkins, made a better recording in the age of long-playing records, and it's just as unlikely that a better example of the impeccable touch and melodic inventiveness of the prolific Hank Jones can be found on any other ...


ENGAGE

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