Coleman Hawkins

1940

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The Coleman Hawkins big band only lasted around a year, recording but four songs in the studio. Although Hawkins was a major name in jazz, his orchestra never did catch on, partly because it did not have a strong personality of its own. This Alamac LP is valuable, for it contains performances by the big band from the Savoy Ballroom aired over the radio, including fine versions of "The Sheik of Araby" and "I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me." Hawkins sounds typically hard-swinging but, other than trumpeter Joe Guy, the rest of the anonymous-sounding band is mostly just used in support of the leader.