549 085-2 Ken Burns Jazz: Coleman Hawkins
Compilation produced by Ben Young and Richard Seidel
Released on November 7, 2000
Find it at GEMM
549 085-2 cover
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T here’s this great bass solo from Oscar Pettiford on “The Man I Love,” but it's the person not playing who grabs your attention. Hawkins is breathing, drawing in metered draughts of air like a swimmer right before a match, perfectly timed to the strokes he plans to take. And suddenly, in that long moment of anticipation, both the physical artistry and the aliveness of the music hit you in a way you didn’t expect. At the dawn of the new millennium, Ken Burns dug up the old ghosts for his documentary on jazz. To accompany the series, Verve released compilations from nearly a dozen of the most influential jazz musicians in history including, of course, Coleman Hawkins. The disc here draws selections from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s: five decades of music from a man whom many regard as the original titan of the tenor saxophone. (I’m not going to give you a history lesson, since there are plenty of folks happy to spin the story for you online.) 50 years is a lot of music to cram onto a single disc, and I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to unravel it all. There are at least a half-dozen moments on here that stop me in my tracks: the sweetly strange paper-and-comb solo on “If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight;” the modern, street-level dissonance of “Queer Notions;” the delight of hearing “Honeysuckle Rose;” the unconventional twists of “Body And Soul;” the lovely lyrical calm of “La Rosita;” and “The Man I Love” mentioned earlier. Each is the work of a master working in a different medium. What holds them together is Hawkins’ unhurried, lyrical lovemaking to an instrument originally thought too ugly to romance.

549 085-2 back sleeve
549 085-2 back sleeve


  1. THE STAMPEDE    (Fletcher Henderson)    3:13
  2. IF I COULD BE WITH YOU ONE HOUR TONIGHT    (James P. Johnson/Henry Creamer)    3:27
  3. QUEER NOTIONS    (Coleman Hawkins)    2:48
  4. IT'S THE TALK OF THE TOWN    (Marty Symes/A.J. Neiburg/Jerry Livingston)    3:30
  5. HONEYSUCKLE ROSE    (Thomas "Fats" Waller/Andy Razaf)    2;44
  6. BODY AND SOUL    (Johnny Green/Edward Heyman/Robert Sour/Frank Eyton)    3:00
  7. THE MAN I LOVE    (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin)    5:07
  8. BEAN AT THE MET    (Coleman Hawkins)    2:59
  9. WOODY 'N' YOU    (John "Dizzy" Gillespie)    2:58
  10. I MEAN YOU    (Coleman Hawkins/Thelonius Monk)    3:03
  11. BEAN AND THE BOYS    (Coleman Hawkins)    2:42
  12. STUFFY    (Coleman Hawkins)    3:01
  13. PICASSO    (Coleman Hawkins)    3:15
  14. LA ROSITA    (Paul Dupont/Allan Stuart)    5:02
  15. RUBY, MY DEAR    (Thelonius Monk)    5:24
  16. JUST FRIENDS    (John Klenner/Sam Lewis)    4:39
  17. CRAZY RHYTHM    (Roger Wolfe Kahn/Joseph Meyer/Irving Caesar)    3:23
  18. DRIVA MAN    (Max Roach/Oscar Brown, Jr.)    5:13
  19. SELF PORTRAIT (OF THE BEAN)    (Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington)    3:50


COLEMAN HAWKINS -- tenor saxophone
Herman Leonard, William P. Gottlieb, Frank Driggs Collection -- photography

US November 7, 2000 Verve CD 549 085-2  


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