Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

241

Coleman Hawkins: The High and Mighty Hawk

By

Sign in to view read count
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 recording featuring the versatile, style-resistant pianist.



Jazz history books frequently use Hawkins to exemplify the "harmonic" approach to improvisation which, unlike the "melodic" approach of Lester Young, is exhaustive in its arpeggiating the chords of a song, outlining them moreover in a regular "trochaic" rhythm (heavy/light stress) that practically replicates the drummer's work on the ride cymbal. There's little better evidence of this approach than on the opening "Bird of Prey Blues," a blues during which Hawkins locks in tight with the rhythm section and, without letting up on the accelerator, drives hard through 18 relentlessly virile choruses in the key of G.



Every bit as impressive are Jones' two solo spots: first, two seducing choruses that are warm and inviting, then following Hawkins with a second seven-bar stretch, a reminder that the late piano giant could be no less inspired than tasteful. Perhaps even more dazzling is his support of the soloists—minimalist whole-note chords behind the active Hawkins, block-chorded descending riffs during the more conservative trumpet playing of Buck Clayton, then Count Basie plinks followed by perfectly placed nudges, during a characteristically muscular Ray Brown bass solo.



Collectors who have waited until mid-summer 2010 to acquire this digitally remastered edition will be doubly rewarded. A session recorded the previous week—with swing era trumpet star Roy Eldridge and the redoubtable bassist George Duvivier—has been included with the featured date. Taken together, the sessions offer a contrast between the fiery Eldridge and the resourceful Clayton that's somewhat reminiscent of Charlie Parker's two quintets, one featuring the pyrotechnical Dizzy Gillespie and the other a reserved Miles Davis.

More importantly, the pianist on both of the present sessions remains the same. In fact, Miles Davis' lavish praise of Jones, as reported in the liner notes for a renowned album of the same year—Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's Somethin' Else (Blue Note, 1958)—might be even more applicable to The High and Mighty Hawk, with music that is no less exceptional, despite featuring players whose reputations had been established almost 30 years earlier. Now, more than 50 years later, it glistens with unflagging freshness, swing, and vitality.

Track Listing: Bird of Prey Blues; My One and Only Love; Vignette; Ooh-Wee, Miss G.P.!; You've Changed; Get Set; Sunday; Hanid; Honey Flower; Honey Flower [alternate take]; Nabob.

Personnel: Coleman Hawkins: tenor sax; Buck Clayton: trumpet (1-7); Hank Jones: piano; Mickey Sheen: drums; Ray Brown: bass (1-7); Roy Eldridge: trumpet (8-11); George Duvivier: bass (8-11).

Title: The High and Mighty Hawk | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Poll Winners Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Lines in Sand CD/LP/Track Review
Lines in Sand
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2018
Read The Brave CD/LP/Track Review
The Brave
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow" CD/LP/Track Review Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Taktlos Zurich 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Taktlos Zurich 2017
by John Sharpe
Published: August 26, 2018
Read "Weapons Of Mass Distraction" CD/LP/Track Review Weapons Of Mass Distraction
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 26, 2018