Hampton Hawes

I'm All Smiles

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Pianist Hampton Hawes led a trio during the 1960s and '70s that remained popular without compromising its sound or musical integrity. His phrasing and voicings could entice or amaze, and he displays great range, rhythmic vitality, and harmonic excellence during the five selections featured on this 1966 live date now reissued on CD. Hawes moves from the Afro-Latin feel of "Manha de Carnaval" to the brilliant chordal exposition on "Spring Is Here" and "The Shadow of Your Smile," before concluding with a flourish on "Searchin." Hawes is backed by wonderful bassist Red Mitchell and steady drummer Donald Bailey, who had both been with him for over a decade. They are not just a cohesive unit, but an intuitive team, maintaining a communication with him that is amazing even within a genre that demands it.

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