Who Was Hampton Hawes?
Although one rarely hears of Hampton Hawes today he
was a significant presence on the jazz scene in the mid-
50s then again from the mid-60s on until his death in
1977. A direct descendant of bebop who had been
variously classified as "West Coast" and "funk-jazz" or
"rhythm school," Hawes transcended all these
categories. He was famous for his prodigious right hand,
his deep groove, his very personal playing, his profound
blues conceptions, and his versatility within a mainstream
context. He remained anchored in chord-change based
jazz with chord changes his whole career.
A mostly self-taught musician, he matured early musically
and late personally-by his own admission