Coleman Hawkins

Lover Man

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This somewhat rare compilation includes portions of two all-star groups led by Coleman Hawkins. The bulk of the performances feature the tenor saxophonist with a group including Harry "Sweets" Edison, Sir Charles Thompson, Jimmy Woode, and Jo Jones. Hawkins shines in the galloping take of "Caravan" and a lush treatment of "Lover Man," though Edison's spotlight feature (on muted trumpet) in a very relaxed, bluesy setting of "Willow Weep for Me" is just as impressive. The tenorist has a completely different band for the romp through "Undecided" (including the always fiery trumpeter Roy Eldridge, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and pianist Lou Levy, plus fellow tenorist Michel De Villers and clarinetist Hubert Roistang). The brief "Indian Summer" is all Hawkins (with just the rhythm section) displaying his lyrical best. While there are many live recordings by Hawkins, this hard to find European issue, drawn from radio broadcasts, is well worth seeking.

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