This 1962 Moodsville quartet date finds Coleman Hawkins in excellent form performing tunes from Broadway shows. It's an unusually lively date for this label that specialized mainly in slow ballad treatments in a jazz setting, and it's a terrific date because of that. Hawk stays down in the lower register of his tenor throughout most of the selections, and his breathy, smoky tone is most attractive. ~ Amazon Customer's Review
Surprisingly, this Impulse album is the only recorded meeting between these two swing giants. Born just five years apart, Ellington and Hawkins led parallel lives through the swing era, but somehow never ended up in a recording studio together until this 1962 session. The pairing is certainly a good one that should have been repeated more often. Hawkins' famously robust tenor sax fits in seamlessly with Ellington and a small group of his top sidemen including Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and Ray Nance. These old pros work smoothly through a relaxed set of new and old Ellington compositions.
A mid-'50s tenor sax workout by the immortal soloist Coleman Hawkins. This was originally issued on Urania and wasn't spectacular, but did have some nicely played blues and ballads. It has been reissued on CD by Fresh Sounds. (Allmusic)
On Sonny Meets Hawk!, possibly more than at any other point in his long professional evolution, Hawkins was able to attain heights of unfettered creativity that must have felt bracing, even exhilarating. He obviously relished the opportunity to improvise intuitively in the company of a tenor saxophonist every bit as accomplished, resourceful, and inventive as he was.
This session is valuable for the majestic playing of tenor great Coleman Hawkins, who performs on half of the eight tracks. The key moments come during the interaction between the guitarist and tenor player, especially during their exchanges on Burrell's "Montono Blues." The rhythm section, Hawkins' working band from this period (pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Major Holley, and drummer Eddie Locke), provide impeccable, sublime support. The CD is rounded out with an up-tempo performance of the standard "I Never Knew," from a date led by pianist Gildo Mahones. This is where Burrell gets a chance to cook in his classic hard bop style, along with the fine alto player Leo Wright.
What happens when you take a master of progressive rock and an accomplished Nashville producer engineer, and put them together with a host of top-flight Nashville session players to reinterpret one of the most revered 70s prog double-albums? In the case of Spock s Beard drummer Nick D'Virgilio and producer engineer Mark Hornsby, you get Rewiring Genesis A Tribute To The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and it's fantastic. While the original featured layers of classic synthesizers (ARP, Mellotron, etc.), there's none of that fake string or choir stuff going on here. Besides rock guitar, bass, and Nick's great drumming (and tasteful lead vocal work), The Lamb is filled with real strings, huge vocal arrangements, horn sections, and even some accordion! Clearly, it's not attempting to simply re-record the classic, it's a fresh and beautiful sounding reinterpretation.