Hawkins recorded a version of "Body and Soul" in 1940 that became his most famous record. Hawkins was one of the few Hot Jazz musicians who made the shift to Be Bop in the Forties.
Hawkins gave inspired performances for decades, managing to convey fire in his work long after his youth. From the 1940s on he led small groups, recording frequently and playing widely in the United States and Europe with Jazz at the Philharmonic and other tours. He willingly embraced the changes that occurred in jazz over the years, playing with Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach in what were apparently the earliest bebop recordings (1944). In time he also became an outstanding blues improviser, with harsh low notes that revealed a new ferocity in his art. Despite alcoholism and ill health, he continued playing until shortly before his death in 1969.
Through the 1930s, his growth is exponential, especially in his ballad playing. Buttery warm and cozy, he finds notes that always work within the chord and are clearly there for anyone to find. But he's the one who finds them. And what is there to say about his solo on 1939's "Body and Soul" that hasn't already been said? This is the music that has proven so inspirational to generations of tenor saxophonists since; the endless possibility when taste and intelligence take on exceptional material.
Our jam-packed set on eight CDs includes 190 tracks, 12 never before released. Included is material from Coleman's earliest days with Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds, his time with Henderson including various pseudonym bands and offshoots that shared personnel, the Mound City Blue Blowers, Benny Goodman's orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Count Basie, co-leader sides with trumpeter Henry Red Allen, Cozy Cole, and a variety of all-star dates for Metronome, Leonard Feather, and Esquire, as well as recordings as a leader of his own dates.
During the first half of the 1960's Coleman Hawkins had an opportunity to record with Duke Ellington, collaborated on one session with Sonny Rollins and even did a bossa nova album.
By 1965, Coleman seemed to be encompassing many influences, including John Coltrane, however, he began drinking heavily after becoming disillusioned with life.
Other than a surprise appearance with Jazz at the Philharmonic in early 1969, very little of Hawkins's work during his final three and a half years became popular.
Coleman Hawkins playing Body&Soul.