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Album Review

This LP (whose contents have been reissued on CD) features a reunion between tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell; they revisit "If I Could Be with You," a song they had recorded together in a classic version back in 1929. Russell was beginning to perform much more modern material than the Dixieland music associated with the Eddie Condon players and on this set (which also features trumpeter Emmett Berry, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, pianist Nat Pierce, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Jo Jones), he plays a couple of Duke Ellington tunes, two originals and "Tin Tin Deo." Hawkins is also in fine form and this somewhat surprising program is quite successful.


Born: 21 November 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 (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor. Coleman Hawkins started piano lessons when he was five, switched to cello at age seven, and two years later began on tenor. At a time when the saxophone was considered a novelty instrument, used in vaudeville...
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