In Concert with Roy Eldridge

Coleman Hawkins

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In Concert with Roy Eldridge Review

by Bruce Eder

The material here dates from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival and an English show some three years later. The opening Newport track, Benny Goodman's "Soft Winds," is kicked off by Ray Bryant's piano, with Eldridge coming in and then Hawkins, each showing off his differing but ultimately compatible approach to the material, which simmers and boils for 11 minutes. The fidelity is excellent on this and its neighboring track, a hot version of Hawkins' arrangement of "Sweet Sue," despite their live origins. Hawkins' arrangement of "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" is a long, sweet, mellow jam in which the Hawk spreads his wings gradually over the last six minutes, joined by Eldridge in a soaring finale. There's more noise on the British tracks -- which include "Autumn Leaves," "If I Had You," and a killer extended jam to Hawkins' "Disorder at the Border" -- although the sound is fairly close and intimate. The band on the Newport tracks includes Ray Bryant at the piano, Tommy Bryant on bass, and Oliver Jackson on drums, while the group on the British sides is Tommy Flanagan at the piano, Major Holley on bass, and Eddie Locke on drums.

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