Coleman Hawkins

The Real Thing

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Hawkins's Prestige recordings have often been slight disappointments, overly relaxed affairs that do not rise to the excitement level of his live performances with trumpeter Roy Eldridge. This double LP has roughly half of the music from two of Hawk's albums (Soul and With the Red Garland Trio) in addition to the entire At Ease with Coleman Hawkins date. Soul was a quintet session with pianist Ray Bryant and guitarist Kenny Burrell, while the other two dates found Hawkins fronting trios led by pianists Red Garland and Tommy Flanagan. The music is enjoyable enough, but due to the emphasis on ballads (particularly on the At Ease album), this program does not give a very well-rounded picture of the talented and seemingly ageless Coleman Hawkins.

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