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He was one of the pioneers of jazz music and the saxophone in particular has a solid place within the jazz given. Hence his nickname ' father of the tenor saxophone '.However, at the age of five he began on piano and what later also on cello. On his ninth birthday he got a United States , then in the popular and cheap, C-melody sax.Although some smaller than a tenor sax yet a great instrument for a child, but the young Coleman there was possessed of.
His knowledge of music and his ability to read music was big and all in 12 years, he performed regularly with others on. his big chance came when he was 16 and he by the then wildly popular vaudevillesinger Mamie Smith for her show band was asked. His mother initially refused to give permission, but gave two years later still far. He played both cello and saxophone, which he soon left for the C-melody tenor saxophone.
His first pitch was Chicago, in that time of the 'bootlegging' the first jazz city where almost all musicians from New Orleans are drawn were. Among these musicians includeKing Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. In addition, Chicago was the city was where young white musicians like Bix Beiderbecke , Benny Goodmanand Glenn Miller grew up.
Inspired by pioneer Adrian Rollini Coleman played the baritone saxophone and the short time there he also regularly doubled on large clarinet and baritone. The tenor, however, would remain his great love. It was in this period that his game came to maturity and his name was established for good. A year long also made Armstrong the Henderson band and all remained the two soloists distant relative to each other, however, they will certainly have encouraged each other.
Hawkins was to change In 1934 and went to England for an engagement with the then famous Jack Hylton's Orchestra. A year later had Hylton a tour in Germany where even then no black Americans were admitted. Therefore he travelled to Netherlands, with regular trips to Paris and Switzerland. Happy in that period made many records, among other things with The Ramblers the Dutch Orchestra with vocals by Annie de Reuver and with musicians like Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.
Just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Hawkins returned to New York, where he on 1 October at Kelly's Stables took up Body and Soul , that earned him worldwide fame on battle, also outside jazz circles. He went in his most fertile period and now with all the greats of jazz, he made one recording session after another, especially with young musicians who had created a new music form: bebop.
His musical taste was very varied and he owned many plates of Chopin and Schumann to Mahler and Strauss, but Bach was undoubtedly his greatest favourite and he always loved his music as an example for young musicians. He himself was a good pianist and also played many classic on his Steinway grand piano. If he harbored the heavily gilded copy saxophone that he personally by Maurice Selmer, Director of the saxofoon'fabriek ' of the same name, had received.
Late forties made Hawkins ' stylistic example (g. slagmolen spoke of ' a superbe sonorous swing style ') place for those of his vibratoloos playing against player Lester Young to geïnstigeerde by Miles Davis after the era of the ' cool'-jazz to be detectable in the game of Sonny Rollins and (late 1960s) Archie Shepp. The fact remains, that he played a prominent role in the 1950s in the traveling musical ' circus ' Norman Granz 's Jazz at the Philharmonic ' with its famous '.
In addition there were the, often likewise by Granz organised, festivals such as the most famous in Newport. And in 1959 was the umpteenth version of Body and Soul played, which for many connoisseurs is even better than the ' original '. Fact is that Hawkins (or ' Bean ', as he often was referred to) also in this period things has put down, such as its beautiful solos on the album Benny Carter-"Further Definitions" and with theDuke Ellington Orchestra.
There is no second example of a jazz musician, that without denying his own style at the forefront is keep playing until his death, including as a young man, together with the young Louis Armstrong, later with the topbopper in the 1960s with Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. Its absorption ability was due to an amazing musical intelligence.
- One Hour, Hello Lola (1929), with Red McKenzie, Glenn Miller and Gene Krupa
- It's the Talk of the Town (1933), with Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra
- Honeysuckle Rose, Crazy Rhythm (1937), recording from Paris with Benny Carter and Django
- Body and Soul (1939)
- The Man I Love, Sweet Lorraine (1943), trio recording with Oscar Pettiford and Eddie Heywood
- I Only Have Eyes for You, I'm in the Mood for Love, Bean at the Met (1944), with Teddy Wilson and Roy Eldridge
- Picasso (1948), acclaimed solo recording
- Crazy Rhythm, Honeysuckle Rose, Body and Soul (1961), on the Carter-album ' Further Definitions '
- Self Portrait of the Bean, Mood Indigo (1962), with the Duke Ellington Orchestra
A part of this individual recordings can also be found on the cd ' Ken Burns Jazz: Coleman Hawkins ' (Verve, 2000). This is a spinoff of the extensive PBS-Ken Burns Jazz production, which was screened in 12 episodes on television.
Also recommended is the economical 4 cd-box ' The Bebop Years ' of the English Proper. In 88 excellent documented recordings pass through here the productive years forty the revue, starting with ' Body and Soul '.
A broader time frame covers ' A Retrospective 1929-1963 ' on RCA (1995), that on 2 CD's 34 years to recordings on Victor-Displays labels. This includes early classics and the original 1939 session with ' Body and Soul '.