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Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge at the Opera House

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Album Review

There have been few more logical matchups than tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. The combative Eldridge always seemed more inspired when he had another horn to play against and Hawkins generally played with more fire than usual when the trumpeter was egging him on. This live LP finds the two of them in top form on a variety of jam tunes and ballads. This should be reissued on CD.


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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Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge at the Opera House, Coleman Hawkins
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