Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A wonderful little record – a real standout in both the careers of Milt Jackson and Coleman Hawkins! The album captures Hawk during his great later years – that time when his sound was even more soulful and inventive than ever – with lots of odd modern undercurrents that really work nicely with the album's slight Latin inflections – a bit like those you might hear on some of Hawkins' Impulse Records material from the same generation.
Orrin's commentary (from his new liner notes): "Before [Coleman] Hawkins, the tenor saxophone-which has come to be one of the basic instruments of jazz-simply did not exist, a fact that would be disputed by neither Lester Young nor Ben Webster-his most prominent immediate successors-nor by Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane or anyone you might choose to put near the head of the line thereafter…This was not my only studio experience with Hawkins, although it was the only opportunity to deal with him strictly on his own terms, which is certainly the only appropriate way to approach a great artist."
"The Genius of Coleman Hawkins" is a true classic. Not only because we get to hear one of the be-bop masters, in good sound and good form, but because of the material on the album. There isn't much new material – they're all old familair standards – but Hawk plays them like an old lover. It doesn't hurt when you have the Oscar Peterson Trio backing you as it did so successfully on many Verve dates. Toss Herb Ellis in on guitar and you've got a quintet of all-stars. Along with his Ben Webster Encounter, this is the highlight of his "second career."
This session is valuable for the majestic playing of tenor great Coleman Hawkins, who performs on half of the eight tracks. While originally released on the Prestige subsidiary Moodsville – a label that specialized in recordings with an intimate, reflective atmosphere – the Moodsville sound doesn't sit comfortably on Hawkins. His playing is brilliantly relaxed, but it's not mood music. Leader Kenny Burrell's playing is much more in line with the Moodsville groove. The guitarist is not amplified as much as he is on his Prestige dates from this time. In fact, he performs on a nylon-string instrument almost as much as he does on his hollow-body electric.