In January 1956, veteran tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins recorded a dozen songs, eight with a string orchestra and four accompanied by a big band, all arranged by Billy Byers. Hawkins is the main soloist throughout, and he was still very much in his prime 33 years after he first joined Fletcher Henderson's orchestra; in fact, the upcoming year of 1957 would be one of his finest. However, Byers' arrangements are more functional than inspired, and some of these selections are more easy listening than they are swinging. Still, there are some strong moments (particularly on "The Bean Stalks Again" and "His Very Own Blues") and, although not classic, this is a pleasing release.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow