Coleman Hawkins

Bean and the Boys [Prestige]

(CD - Ace #PRCD 241242)

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This LP (whose contents have been reissued in different settings on CD) features the always adventurous tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins with three different modern groups. The first four selections are the earliest studio recordings of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk, who was clearly happy to be performing in Hawkins' quartet. A date from Dec. 1946, matches Hawkins with such young modernists as trumpeter Fats Navarro, trombonist J.J. Johnson and vibraphonist Milt Jackson on intriguing versions of "I Mean You" and two versions of "Bean and the Boys," showing that Hawk was able to keep up with (and indeed master) the innovations of bebop. He is also heard on two ballad showcases and in a less memorable but still enjoyable 1949 date with a variety of French musicians, plus drummer Kenny Clarke, that is highlighted by a pair of blues.

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