Kenny Burrell / Coleman Hawkins

Bluesy Burrell

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This session is valuable for the majestic playing of tenor great Coleman Hawkins, who performs on half of the eight tracks. Released on the Prestige subsidiary Moodsville -- a label that specialized in recordings with an intimate, reflective atmosphere -- the Moodsville sound doesn't sit comfortably on Hawkins. His playing is brilliantly relaxed, but it's not mood music. Leader Kenny Burrell's playing is much more in line with the Moodsville groove. The guitarist is not amplified as much as he is on his Prestige dates from this time. In fact, he performs on a nylon-string instrument almost as much as he does on his hollow-body electric. Unlike Hawkins, Burrell's subdued contribution is made to measure for this date. Listeners expecting to hear Burrell the hard bopper won't. The key moments come during the interaction between the guitarist and tenor player, especially during their exchanges on Burrell's "Montono Blues." The rhythm section, Hawkins' working band from this period (pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Major Holley, and drummer Eddie Locke) provides impeccable, sublime support.

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