Coleman Hawkins

Moodsville

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The music included on this CD reissue has always been a bit mysterious. Recorded sometime in 1960, it was originally released on a pair of cheap-looking LPs by the Crown label. The composers of the songs have never been listed, although it is probable that some were written by tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, pianist Eddie Costa and trumpeter Thad Jones (who probably was responsible for the bulk of the tunes). Even for the 2004 reissue, the origin of the music is not known. None of the songs would become standards and they sound moderately modern for 1960 without being more advanced than hard bop. Nat Pierce is the pianist on "Shadows" but otherwise all of the piano chores are taken by Eddie Costa, who also plays vibes on a couple numbers. Hawkins and Jones are both in excellent form, digging into the chord changes, some of which seem a little familiar although usually not based exactly on any earlier standard; an exception is "Shadows" which is very close to "Under a Blanket of Blue." The fact that Hawkins could sound so comfortable with modernists from younger generations is always impressive. Although falling slightly short of essential, this is certainly the best reissue of this obscure material.