Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coleman Hawkins 106th Birthday

"Almost all of the recordings Coleman Hawkins made throughout a 45-year period were outstanding examples of improvisation, but among them were masterpieces by which all tenor saxophone solos will forever be judged."
-- John Chilton, Song of the Hawk

Today's Coleman Hawkins 106th birthday. It's quite a while that I'm working on possibly the biggest piece of my blog, studying Coleman Hawkins recordings with Fletcher Henderson orchestra. I hoped that I could finish it for a day like today, but it didn't happen and I need more time. So enjoy the day with an update of an old post, an audio clip, and I'm sure everybody has many thing to listen and many thing to read about Coleman Hawkins.

Coleman Hawkins All Stars
I Love You
Coleman Hawkins (ts), Hank Jones (p), Chuck Wayne (g), Jack Lesberg (b), Max Roach (d)
New York City, December 11, 1947, RCA Records.

Comments on a Phoenix called Hawk: An update of an article I' posted almost a year ago. Two audio clips and some new comments have been added.

By the way, to see Hawk's shadow over all tenor players after him, I got a great story which can't stop laughing whenever I remember it:

"It wasn't for me. They were whispering on me, everytime I played. I can't make that. I couldn't take that. . . . Fletcher Henderson's wife, she took me down to the basement and played one of those old wind-up record players, and she'd say, "Lester, can't you play like this?" Coleman Hawkins records. But I mean, "Can't you hear this? Can't you get with that?" You dig? I split! Every morning that chick would wake me up at nine o'clock to teach me to play like Coleman Hawkins. And she played trumpet herself—circus trumpet! I'm gone!"

1 comment:

  1. I listened to an old Xanadu lp yesterday with duo and trio recordings of Hawkins from 1936 - Back when many still considered the saxophone a novelty instrument - even then his tone and soloing are incredible - he is teaching everyone what the horn is capable of - a giant comparable to even Louis Armstrong!