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Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins single-handedly brought the saxophone to the prominence in jazz that the instrument enjoys. Before he hit the scene, jazz groups had little use for the instrument. One player (forgot who) said, "with all due respect to Adolph Sax, Coleman Hawkins invented the saxophone." Hawkins, or "Bean", as he was known as, started playing cello at a young age before switching to the saxophone. He was a lifelong listener of classical music, and as a result, his knowledge of music theory was far ahead of his peers. Whereas Louis Armstrong improvised his solos based on the melody, Hawkins based his on the harmony and had a strong sense of rhythm. Hawkins hit New York at the age of 20 and quickly established himself, as he became the star of the Fletcher Henderson band

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jason Whatley: On the Beak

Read "On the Beak" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

If Australia is “The Land Down Under," then Tasmania could be called “The Land Way Down Under,' a thumbprint of a main island cut adrift from the southern hemisphere's one country continent about 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, to sit off the south western corner of the state of Victoria, ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

The Sound I Saw

Read "The Sound I Saw" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

This article was co-written with Joshua Bleeker. The Sound I Saw Roy DeCarava 208 pages ISBN: # 13: 978-1644230107 David Zwirner Books 2019 When two or more art forms combine, they may serve and harmonize and support each other or they ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Nick Hempton Band Live & Loud

Read "Nick Hempton Band  Live & Loud" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Nick Hempton Band Live and Loud New York, NY December 3, 2020 Can venues reflect the tenor of a particular time? In August of 2018, saxophonist Nick Hempton played two sets at a park in Dobbs Ferry, NY, a striking location right on the Hudson River. It was a comfortably warm ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Coleman Hawkins

Jazz Musician of the Day: Coleman Hawkins

All About Jazz is celebrating Coleman Hawkins' birthday today! Coleman Hawkins single-handedly brought the saxophone to the prominence in jazz that the instrument enjoys. Before he hit the scene, jazz groups had little use for the instrument. One player (forgot who) said, “with all due respect to Adolph Sax, Coleman Hawkins invented the saxophone." Hawkins, or ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

My Conversation with Gary Peacock

Read "My Conversation with Gary Peacock" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This article was first published at All About Jazz in October 1999. Having been in the political arena, I know first hand the power of celebrity's undertow. It has a way of casually siphoning the integrity of a candidate. Fame and power in politics, I find, is quite similar in our music, and that ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Rebel Festival

Read "The Rebel Festival" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the morning of July 4, 1960, there were more than a few signs of the mayhem that had taken place the night before in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport's Millionaires Row woke up to broken store windows, overturned vehicles, and storm drains clogged with garbage and beer bottles. One-hundred-eighty-two people, mostly young, New England college students ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures

Read "Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Everybody needs a helping hand now and then. Rudy Royston understands that. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused gigs to completely dry up for all musicians, and with that, their main income stream. Yet there are still mortgages, rents and bills to pay, and children to feed. It says something about the precarious finances of a jazz ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Denny Zeitlin: Live at Mezzrow

Read "Live at Mezzrow" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Coming up on two decades of creative engagement and evolution, pianist Denny Zeitlin's group with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson remains one of the most bracing, sophisticated and creatively satisfying trios on the scene. In the best of times, a set like this, recorded live at Spike Wilner's New York piano room Mezzrow, can ...


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