Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster long

I'm 48 and have been listening to jazz since I was 7 or 8. I have read about and listened to Coleman Hawkins for years but I never heard him , really heard his tone, until saturday night. Ben Webster took his first solo on track 2 of 'Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster' and though there are several good recordings of him this was a great moment. His bluesy tone was beautiful and I remember thinking " how is hawk going to top this?" At that moment Bean began to play and I just could not believe it. His tone was monumental. While he couldn't match Websters sweet blues his tone stuck me for what it was - one of the highest expresions of his instument. ( Webster came back and rather than try to outdo him he played his next solo so understatedly that for several bars he played using only the vebrato of his breath blowing over the reed with the horn barely making a sound - sublime) Now I finaly understood why all Hawks contemporaries loved him so and how he won all those late night cutting contests back in the 30's and 40's against the best competition available. It also hit me then why I (we) spend so much time on this crazy hobby. When you find a GREAT recording and play it on a quality system you understand what is was like to be in their presence. I UNDERSTOOD Hawkins in a way few others will who did not see him in his prime. I have found a few other very high quality recordings and my search for more will continue. I would be interested in hearing from others about their favorite classic jazz recordings. ( It beats arguing about cables.) - Jim
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For another great Hawk solo, get a copy of Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins on Impulse. Mood Indigo serves essentially as a frame for a full song-length solo thats got to be one of the most amazing things in recorded jazz.
Great post!

My entry is a recording by Ella Fitzgerald commemorating her 40th birthday at a concert in Rome. While there are several moments of sublime beauty captured on this disc (an LP), the moment that comes to mind is several bars in "Stomping at the Savoy" where you can hear Oscar Peterson subtly teasing Ella by pushing the beat. You can actually hear her smiling as she responds by changing the lyric to say "Oscar! We're through!" Having seen both artists several times (but never together), I was always struck by their playful mastery and lack of stuffiness, which, unfortunately plagues so many "serious" jazz artists. This moment in this disc conjures those images and helps me remember that music can be seriously good and fun at the same time.
Wonderful post, Aldavis! Thank you for sharing this and focusing us on music. I've been on a steep learning curve about jazz in recent years, having spent most of my time with classical music. It has been a rewarding experience finding such marvelous musicians as Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Parlan, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, and on and on. A whole new world to explore. I look forward to reading other contributions to this thread.

Recently, I've been playing Hank Mobley's "Soul Station" over and over again (in the recent Music Matters 45 rpm incarnation). While I'm not really in a position to say what classic jazz recordings are my favorites, the LPs regularly on my turntable for repeated listening in recent months have been:

Armstrong & Ellington: "Recording Together for the First Time" and "The Great Reunion"

Gerry Mulligan and Thelonius Monk in "Mulligan meets Monk"

"Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall"

Miles Davis, "Steamin' "

Bill Evans, "Portrait in Jazz"

Coleman Hawkins, "Hawkins! Alive at the Village Gate!"

Art Pepper, "Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section"
Ben Webster and Associates - track 4 "Time after Time"

Coleman Hawkins is also feature on this record along with Budd Johnson and Roy Eldridge. Ben solo's it on "Time after Time" and it is.......... beautiful.
That is a nice post, Jim. Makes me remember Trane's Impressions and Jim Beam moving me to tears when I lived in Santa Cruz.

Here are a few suggestions in the spirit of the thread:

Hank Mobley, Roll Call. Hank is underrated, I think.

Art Pepper, Modern Art. Prefer it to Meets, another great one.

Red Garland, Groovy. Also underrated.

Miles Quintet, Cookin. My favorite of the In recordings, and the one that got me started on Jazz.

Herbie Mann, Live at the Village. If you have this and Modern Art, you have two of the greatest renderings of "Summertime." Season's Greetings! John
Thank you for the responses. For any of you who are interested here's a few more exceptional recordings. They are not necessarily the best in terms of musical content ( though they're usualy pretty good) but they are so lifelike you'll think you've heard them in person. JOHN COLETRANE - 'stardust' from 'fearless leader'. You can hear the air all the way from his mouth,through the sax and out into your room. The piano is terribly recorded but this was typical of the period. ELLA - 'Angel eyes' from 'The intimate Ella'. This is a rare chance to hear her without the uptempo bounce and on angel eyes you hear every nook and crany of her voice. SARA VAUGHN - The entire 'after hours' and 'sara +2' discs are very well recorded but the obscure 'words can't desribe' from 'swingin easy' puts her right in front of you. Not a great tune but a great recording job on her voice. Again the band is poorly recorded. MILES - 'old folks' off of 'Someday my prince will come'. You can hear him adjust his mike stand from left to right and his harmon mute is captured pefectly.In this case his band is extremely well recorded. Probably the best Wynton Kelly(piano) on track one. POPS - Louis Armstrong/Duke Ellington remaster. Listen to 'I got it bad and that ain't good'. You can hear his fingering on the horn during his extended solo intro. His voice is perfect. Other 'you are there' recordings : Tony Bennet/Bill Evans, Johnny Hartman/John Coletane, Johnny Hartman 'I just stopped by to say hello' track 2, Frank Sinatra the bonus track practice version of ' Where or when' off of 'only the lonely' in which you hear him feel his way through the song without his usual confidence but very very heart felt. It's short and it's almost ruined by the band (which was not meant to be recorded for playback) blasting though the final chorus but to me there is no better picture of the real Frank Sinatra. Well these are what come to mind right now . I hope you try some as I will try the suggestions which I don't currently own. John - for me it was Gentleman Jack. Rushton- good luck on you jazz quest. My wife is a lifelong classical singer who recently began learning jazz piano. It's a wholenuther ball of wax but I think her appreciation of these musicians has grown exponentialy - Jim
Stan Getz is another great one (no revelation, I know). Too many good ones to select one, but try "Live at the Cafe Mart." or his cuts with Gilberto and Jobim.
Found this post while sitting in the dark listening to the Analogue Productions LP of the Bill Evans Trio (w/ Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian) "Waltz For Debby". I'm transported 47 years back and 3000 miles east to the holy basement that is The Village Vanguard, and Bill and Scott are still alive. Yes, Mr. Aldavis, it's what this hobby is really--or should be--all about.
There are musicians that shock you with their technical abilities. Coltrane falls into a rare category of being able to do that and be very musical and expressive at the same time.

Another one of my favorites, sort of like Luis Armstrong of saxophone, is Dexter Gordon. It is amazing how underrated he is. Rarely mentioned anywhere. His tone is easy to recognize. Won't knock your socks off with the technical virtuosity like Coltrane or Michael Brecker could, but his sound is something special. I highly recommend his "One Flight Up", "GO" and "Ballads". Check him out. He is for sure one of the best.

Also, among the currently living sax players, Jan Garbarek is really good. That is, of course, if you're into ECM category of jazz, which for the most part does not fall into classic jazz at all.
Thank you audiophile 1 for mentioning Dexter Gordon. I agree 100%. I have all of the above. One terribly underated album of his is " Doin allright" Check out the track " I was doin allright" The way he can really swing old school but really dig into some more modern stuff in the same tune is really amazing. " A swingin affair " is also very good. I'm curious if you or others think that the RVG remasters seem a little tinny in spots ? Anyway thanks for mentioning one of my alltime favorites. ( two actually as pops is,of course #1) - Jim
I’m resurrecting this thread because I just got the Hawkins/Webster CD. I can’t really ad anything to the very nice post by Aldavis, so I’ll just say that listening to this entire ensemble, including Oscar Peterson, is absolutely thrilling.
Funny you should mention Hawkins and Webster and tone. For me, these two - more than anyone else - epitomize the beauty of tone. Any genre, any instrument, I'd place Hawkins and Webster #1 and #2. Obviously, that's merely a personal preference, but it does - I think - speak to the essence of this thread.

It occurred to me recently, that my Hawkins and Webster LPs may not contain THE MOST IMPRESSIVE music that I own, but they do contain the music that best justifies my excessive investment in a stereo system.

08-18-11: Phaelon
I’m resurrecting this thread because I just got the Hawkins/Webster CD. I can’t really ad anything to the very nice post by Aldavis, so I’ll just say that listening to this entire ensemble, including Oscar Peterson, is absolutely thrilling.