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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve Reissues

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
Tenor-great Coleman Hawkins tended to be at his best when challenged by another horn player. On this highly enjoyable CD, Hawkins is joined by the superb trumpeter Charlie Shavers and a strong rhythm section that includes guitarist Tiny Grimes and pianist Ray Bryant. With such superior songs as "Through for the Night," "I Never Knew" and "La Rosita," in addition to long jams, plenty of fireworks occur during this frequently exciting session. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Impulse!

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released May 21, 1996 | RCA Victor - Victor Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Much of the material on this two-LP set has been since reissued on CD, but, one way or the other, this music (particularly the first 16 tracks) belongs in every serious jazz collection. In 1939, Hawkins returned to the U.S. after five years in Europe, and it took him very little time to reassert his prior dominance as king of the tenors. This set starts off with the session that resulted in Hawk's classic version of "Body and Soul," teams him with Benny Carter (on trumpet) for some hot swing (including a memorable rendition of "My Blue Heaven"), and then finds Hawkins using younger musicians (including trumpeter Fats Navarro and trombonist J.J. Johnson) on some advanced bop originals highlighted by "Half Step Down Please." The remainder of this set is also good, but less historic, with Hawkins being well-showcased with three larger groups in 1956, culminating in a remake of "Body and Soul." © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Prestige

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Coleman Hawkins' 1957 session for Riverside, aside from an oral documentary record in a short-lived series, was his only recording for the label under his name. Yet producer Orrin Keepnews had the good sense to invite the legendary tenor saxophonist to pick his own musicians, and Hawkins surprised him by asking for young boppers J.J. Johnson and Idrees Sulieman in addition to the potent rhythm section of Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford, Barry Galbraith, and Jo Jones. The two days of sessions produced a number of strong performances, with Hawkins still very much at the top of his game, while both Johnson and Sulieman catch fire as well. Even though most of the focus was on new material contributed by the participants, the musicians quickly adapted to the unfamiliar music, especially the leader's old-fashioned swinger "Sancticity" (which sounds like it could have been part of Count Basie's repertoire) and the pianist's tightly woven bop vehicle "Chant." Hawkins was one of the great ballad interpreters, and his majestic performance of the standard "Laura" is no exception. The 2008 reissue in the Keepnews Collection series uncovered no previously unissued material, though expanded liner notes by the producer and improved 24-bit remastering make this edition an improvement over earlier versions. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | GRP

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Hawkins's last strong recording finds the veteran, 43 years after his recording debut with Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds, improvising creatively on a wide variety of material on this CD, ranging from "Intermezzo" and "Here's That Rainy Day" to "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" and "Indian Summer." Best is an adventurous version of "Out of Nowhere" that shows that the tenor-saxophonist was still coming up with new ideas in 1965. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Prestige

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This is a decent but not very exciting outing. Then 52, Hawkins uses a typically young rhythm section (including guitarist Kenny Burrell and pianist Ray Bryant) and plays melodically on a variety of originals and standards. This insipid version of "Greensleeves" is difficult to sit through but the rest of this CD is enjoyable if not overly inspiring. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 4, 1999 | RCA Bluebird

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
In January 1956, veteran tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins recorded a dozen songs, eight with a string orchestra and four accompanied by a big band, all arranged by Billy Byers. Hawkins is the main soloist throughout, and he was still very much in his prime 33 years after he first joined Fletcher Henderson's orchestra; in fact, the upcoming year of 1957 would be one of his finest. However, Byers' arrangements are more functional than inspired, and some of these selections are more easy listening than they are swinging. Still, there are some strong moments (particularly on "The Bean Stalks Again" and "His Very Own Blues") and, although not classic, this is a pleasing release. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Prestige

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
It is said that one grows wiser and mellower with age, as proven by this recording from Coleman Hawkins that is a successful follow-up to his previous Moodsville album At Ease. There is a difference, as Kenny Burrell joins the legendary tenor saxophonist in this quintet setting, with no threat of upstaging or even a hint of any real showcasing of the guitarist's then developing laid-back side. Underrated Ronnell Bright is on the piano, and also proves a veritable equal to Hawkins even more than Burrell. But it is the burgeoning talent of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Andrew Cyrille who mark their territory, not as the maverick individualists they would become, but as supple performers who understand the strength of Hawkins from a modest standpoint. Not all ballads, the fare is standard American popular song played for people sitting by the fire, the calm ocean, or late at night with a sweetheart over candles and wine. Any version of a well-known tune can be made classic by Hawkins, as heard during the somber "I'll Never Be The Same," the straight ballad "Under a Blanket of Blue" with the tenor's slight fluttery trills, or "Just a Gigolo" where the spotlight is firmly focused on the leader's droll tones. Burrell's strumming on "When Day Is Done" signifies a downplayed, wound down feeling, and where he generally chooses a sublimated role in these recordings, he does come out with a strong lead melody for the soulful ballad "More Than You Know." The modified tunes on the session are the midtempo take of "Moonglow" as Hawkins adopts some of Lester Young's swagger as Cyrille's nimble brushwork keeps the song moving forward. "Speak Low" is interpreted in a sleek and seductive calypso beat ably conjured by the drummer, a nice touch to end the album. This quintet -- as unique as any Hawkins ever fronted -- speaks to his open mindedness, but more so to his innate ability in adapting musicians to his situational hitting. The Hawk Relaxes is one of his best latter period efforts. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Hawkins led one of his finest bands in 1945, a sextet with the fiery trumpeter Howard McGhee that fell somewhere between small-group swing and bebop. This CD contains all of that group's 12 recordings, including memorable versions of "Rifftide" and "Stuffy"; trombonist Vic Dickenson guests on four tracks. This CD concludes with one of Hawkins' rarest sessions, an Aladdin date from 1947 that finds the veteran tenor leading a septet that includes 20-year-old trumpeter Miles Davis. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Verve Reissues

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Coleman & Confreres. Ben Webster (ts), Roy Eldridge (tpt), and Hawkins head things up. This is one of the few worthwhile releases in this special Alpha series. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
One of Hawkins's better Prestige sessions (originally on its Swingville subsidiary) finds him fronting a then-modern rhythm section for a variety of basic originals, the ballad "I Want to Be Loved" and "It's a Blues World." The lengthy "Bean's Blues" is the highpoint of this generally relaxed session. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Verve's Norman Granz took his microphones and equipment to the fourth annual Newport Jazz Festival in July of 1957 and recorded extensively there, catching several live sets by both established and up-and-coming jazz artists in wonderfully clear sonic fullness, including this Friday evening kickoff set in Freebody Park from an all-star band led by the legendary tenor saxman Coleman Hawkins and including Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Pete Brown on alto sax, Ray Bryant on piano, Al McKibbon on bass, and Jo Jones on drums. It's a joyous affair driven by Jones' propulsive drumming and a couple of well-placed ballads like "Day by Day" interspersed through the set before the whole band jumps in for a rousing finale on the old chestnut "Sweet Georgia Brown," which here sounds wonderfully fresh and agile. The performance was originally released by Verve on LP in 1958 and now, some 50 years later, on CD. The sound quality is remarkable, with studio-level clarity while still capturing the energy, intimacy, and vitality of a festive live gig, complete with introductions and announcements, all of which makes this a delightful snapshot of a veteran band of musicians who are doing what they do best. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1975 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Hawkins's final studio session is rather sad. Due to an excess of drink and his unwillingness to eat, the great tenor-saxophonist went steadily downhill between 1965 and his death four years later. Recorded in late 1966, this quartet set finds Hawk constantly short of breath and unable to play long phrases. He is able to get away with this deficiency on the faster pieces but the ballads are rather painful to hear. Even at this late stage Hawkins still had his majestic tone but this recording is only of historical interest. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | Verve Reissues

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
From the mid-'50s until Coleman Hawkins's death in 1969, the tenor-saxophonist frequently teamed up with trumpeter Roy Eldridge to form a potent team. However, Hawkins rarely met altoist Johnny Hodges on the bandstand, making this encounter a special event. Long versions of "Satin Doll," "Perdido" and "The Rabbit in Jazz" give these three classic jazzmen (who are ably assisted by the Tommy Flanagan Trio) chances to stretch out and inspire each other. The remainder of this CD has Eldridge and Hodges absent while Coleman Hawkins (on "new" versions of "Mack the Knife," "It's the Talk of the Town," "Bean and the Boys" and "Caravan") heads the quartet for some excellent playing. Timeless music played by some of the top veteran stylists of the swing era. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

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On the 16th of October 1957, Coleman Hawkins (aged 52) and Ben Webster (48) were shut away in Hollywood’s legendary Capitol studios putting together, under the guidance of Verve producer Norman Granz, an album that would go on to be an absolute classic. With Lester Young, these two tenor saxophone giants were then considered unmatchable in their skill with the instrument as confirmed in this session in which four other musicians lend their expertise: pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Alvin Stoller. The respect is tangible between these two “big sound” saxophonists as they deliver a warm and often lyrical performance like never before. From Hawk’s opening Blues For Yolande a classy and classical tone is present. Nothing stands in the way of the musicians’ faultless tango as their instruments expertly yowl and stretch the tenor to its limits. The ballads are an achievement as heard on It Never Entered My Mind and Prisoner of Love. Published two years later in November 1959, Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster would doubtless make up one of the pillars of any ideal jazz nightclub worthy of the name. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

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On the 16th of October 1957, Coleman Hawkins (aged 52) and Ben Webster (48) were shut away in Hollywood’s legendary Capitol studios putting together, under the guidance of Verve producer Norman Granz, an album that would go on to be an absolute classic. With Lester Young, these two tenor saxophone giants were then considered unmatchable in their skill with the instrument as confirmed in this session in which four other musicians lend their expertise: pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Alvin Stoller. The respect is tangible between these two “big sound” saxophonists as they deliver a warm and often lyrical performance like never before. From Hawk’s opening Blues For Yolande a classy and classical tone is present. Nothing stands in the way of the musicians’ faultless tango as their instruments expertly yowl and stretch the tenor to its limits. The ballads are an achievement as heard on It Never Entered My Mind and Prisoner of Love. Published two years later in November 1959, Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster would doubtless make up one of the pillars of any ideal jazz nightclub worthy of the name. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Prestige

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Jazz - Released October 28, 1997 | Verve Reissues

Genius may not be the right word, but "brilliance" certainly fits. At the age of 51 in 1957, Hawkins had already been on records for 35 years and had been one of the leading tenors for nearly that long. This date matches him with the Oscar Peterson Trio (plus drummer Alvin Stoller) for a fine run-through on standards. Hawk plays quite well, although the excitement level does not reach the heights of his sessions with trumpeter Roy Eldridge. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

Hawkins was one of the main inspirations of his fellow tenor Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, so it was logical that they would one day meet up in the recording studio. This CD has many fine moments from these two highly competitive jazzmen, particularly the lengthy title cut and a heated tradeoff on "In a Mellow Tone," on which Davis goes higher but Hawkins wins on ideas. © Scott Yanow /TiVo