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Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins & Duke Ellington

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Album Review

The combination of Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins alone would be ideal for the vast majority of jazz fans. But add to the front line trombonist Lawrence Brown, saxophonists Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges, and cornetist/violinist Ray Nance, and you have a modern small jazz ensemble for the ages that would be tough to beat under any criteria, not so much a showcase for Hawkins as a group effort with everyone getting more than two cents' worth in. On this collection you receive, for your hard-earned dollars, eight originals, two of which have become well-known standards. Of the familiar fare, you hear a brief but unique off-minor intro on the heart-melting ballad "Mood Indigo," and all horns united on the democratic evergreen swinger "The Jeep Is Jumpin'." Hawkins plays a bit atonally and Brown struts during the bluesy modal head-nodding "Ray Charles' Place," while the band acts sly and slinky as you hear a signature uptown Ellington melody during the purebred "You Dirty Dog." The main feature for Hawkins where you clearly hear his familiar stoic and robust vibrato tenor sax sound is the slow and bluesy "Self-Portrait (Of the Bean)." The recording is bookended by Ellington's chiming, playful, concise, and rhythmic "ricitic" piano phrasings on the all-time favorite "Limbo Jazz" and "The Ricitic," the latter piece a showcase for the singularly beautiful and distinctive violin of Nance. Over the years, this near-perfect and timeless recording has only grown and matured with age, and should be a must-own for any traditional, mainstream, or general jazz aficionado. Also — consider that this historic session was done in a single day! [This edition of Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins includes the bonus track "Solitude."] ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Great Album

A most worthy album. Not available in iTunes Plus but Amazon has it as MP3 256K. Hopefully Apple will update.


Born: November 21, 1904 in St. Joseph, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Coleman Hawkins was the first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic, Hawkins had a 40-year prime...
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