Coleman Hawkins for this first day of Daylight Savings Time. A short, but extremely sweet set as recorded by the Norwegian Radio-TV network NRK at The Metropol Restaurant/club in Oslo on January 1963.
Coleman Hawkins by the 1960s was the Elder Statesman of Jazz. Having been at ground zero when the Tenor Sax became an acknowledged Jazz instrument. Was part of the essential birthing team of Bop and was part of the earliest days of Jazz when it transitioned over from Jass in the early 1920s, Hawkins had been witness to just about everything and the growth of what has become Americas Classical Music.
And with all the discoveries, transitions and establishment, Coleman Hawkins maintained a clear vision and a unique voice, one which led fellow sax player and colleague Lester Young, dubbed Pres, to refer to Hawkins as “the real Pres -I’m just number two”. He’s been a prominent and enduring figure and a role model for those following in his footsteps.
This gig, from one of the many tours Hawkins did at this point in his career, features a homegrown crew as backup; Einar Iverson on piano, Jarle Krogstad on bass and Ole Jacob Hansen on drums. Coleman Hawkins reputation was so solid and his sound so distinctive that he could land in just about any European town and grab local Jazz musicians who knew his work inside and out and could blend in seamlessly with the Master himself.
Coleman Hawkins is one of the pivotal and essential figures in any discussion or study of Jazz. His sound and vision became the focal point for much of what became the backbone of the form. If you’re just discovering Jazz and are feeling your way around, this is one name you will hear just about everywhere – and if you don’t know who he is, it’s mandatory that you get into the work of Hawkins in order to get a solid idea of what Jazz is all about. Start here and work your way back.
Fans already have stopped reading this about three paragraphs ago and have hit the play button.
Enjoy while you’re trying to figure out what happened to that lost hour of sleep.