Tenor Giants

Tenor Giants

by Coleman HawkinsColeman Hawkins


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This reissue illustrates Hawkins' influence during the swing era by focusing on his work for Commodore in 1940 and 1943 as well as fellow tenor great Chu Berry's recordings for the same label in 1938 and 1941. (Berry certainly wasn't the only tenor man Hawkins influenced; his big, rugged tone had a direct or indirect influence on everyone from Illinois Jacquet, Ben Webster, and Willis Jackson to Sonny Rollins and Booker Ervin). Though Hawkins' influence on Berry is undeniable, Berry was quite recognizable himself -- and his individuality shines through on this CD. Berry swings aggressively on "Sittin' In" and "46 West 52" in 1938 and "Blowin' Up a Breeze" on August 28, 1941 (only two months before he died in a car crash), while his ballad-playing on "Stardust" and "Body and Soul" is gorgeous and unapologetically romantic. Some jazz historians feel that Berry could be overly sentimental on ballads, but to this journalist, his playing was a soulful, lyrical delight. (Besides, there's no law stating that jazz has to be 100% intellect 100% of the time). Meanwhile, the Hawkins material comes from all-star sessions that Leonard Feather produced or co-produced; the 1943 session boasts such heavyweights as trumpeter Cootie Williams and pianist Art Tatum, while the 1940 date, billed as "Coleman Hawkins and the Chocolate Dandies", and finds trumpeter Roy Eldridge and alto saxophonist/clarinetist Benny Carter joining Hawkins on the front line. Hawkins and Carter were both part of the original Chocolate Dandies sessions of 1929-1930, and their rapport was equally strong in 1940. From the forceful to the romantic, Tenor Giants paints an impressive picture of both Hawkins and Berry.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/08/2000
Label: Polygram Records
UPC: 0731454327121
catalogNumber: 543271
Rank: 197004

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Coleman Hawkins   Primary Artist
Danny Barker   Guitar
Chu Berry   Track Performer
Casey   Guitar
Chocolate Dandies   Track Performer
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet
Oscar Pettiford   Bass
Art Tatum   Piano
Cootie Williams   Trumpet
Edmond Hall   Clarinet
Bernard Addison   Guitar
Benny Carter   Clarinet,Piano,Alto Saxophone
Big Sid Catlett   Drums
Clyde Hart   Piano
Morgan   Bass
Hot Lips Page   Trumpet
Artie Shapiro   Bass
Harry Jaeger   Drums

Technical Credits

Chu Berry   Composer
Leonard Feather   Composer,Producer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Milt Gabler   Composer,Producer
Orrin Keepnews   Reissue Producer
Steve Lasker   Digital Transfer Assistant
Hot Lips Page   Composer
Charles Peterson   Cover Photo,Inlay Photography
Hollis King   Art Direction
JoDee Stringham   Graphic Design
Clarence Gaskill   Composer

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