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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Always Exactly Electrifying, But Deeply Satisfying, 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
It could be argued that Coleman Hawkins in the 30s and early 40s was the most innovative of jazz soloists: his approach, always exquisitely logical, never remotely predictable, phrasing off-the-beat and across-the-barlines, searching out far-flung harmonic possibilities from the fundamental chord changes, prefigured - even more than the most adventurous of his contemporaries - the underlying tendencies (if not the surface mannerisms) of later styles: Bebop, modal jazz, even hints of free improvisation.

Jump forward to the 50s and 60s: Hawk could still produce challenging music, especially when performing alongside modernists half his age. But there are also dozens of sessions from this period when he is content to be inventive rather than innovative, to work within jazz conventions rather than challenge them. One type of jazz fan might be tempted to underrate such recordings, and another type perhaps to overvalue them, for the same reasons!

This 2-CD collection proves just how consistently imaginative a soloist Hawk remained, even in such relaxed situations.

BEAN BAGS: Exemplary playing from Hawk and Milt Jackson (vibes). And Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) provide alert, propulsive accompaniment; their solos are good too, though the pianist's occasional lack of variety of attack makes some of his seem more bland than they really are.

THE GENIUS OF COLEMAN HAWKINS: Twelve relatively short, cogent tracks, and all the solo space is Hawk's: astonishingly, neither the pianist (Oscar Peterson, no less) nor the guitarist (Herb Ellis) take a single solo, though needless to say they are a fine rhythm section.

NIGHT HAWK: a delightful encounter between Hawk (stereo left, I assume) and another tenor saxist, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (stereo right). It's a collaboration rather than a competition, and if Davis occasionally seems to ape certain aspects of his colleague's style, it's a deeply affectionate gesture, I think. Flanagan's solos here are more overtly lively too.

The three bonus tracks are extended (though certainly not over-extended) live performances with extrovert Roy Eldridge on trumpet. The final one features not Milt Jackson, but the other three members of the Modern Jazz Quartet - John Lewis (piano), Percy Heath (bass) and Connie Kay (drums) - as rhythm section.

As usual with these super-budget Avid releases, they're good transfers and the booklet reproduces the original LPs' sleeve-notes. For incorrigible completists (and I'm often one), you might find rival CD reissues of them that offer more bonus tracks and alternate takes - but probably not at bargain prices!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coleman Hawkins. Supreme saxophonist., 25 Aug 2011
By 
ACB(swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
Coleman Hawkins is a master statesman of jazz and a benchmark for saxophonists, along with Stan Getz in my humble opinion.( This should start some discussion!). He has been through bands, orchestras,small groups,sidemen, solo displays and leadership over many a moon. This compilation is superb and varied. Coleman sounds relaxed and comfortably in control with all set before him.
BEAN BAGS: Playing alongside the virtuoso Milt Jackson is an unusual setting and hence challenging. The group interactions and solos are a delight to the listener and reflect the musicianship. ' Close Your Eyes' and 'Indian Blues' are standout.
GENIUS OF COLEMAN HAWKINS: This is Hawkins at a prime period. With Herb Ellis,Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, Coleman stomps through the up-tempo numbers. His interpretations of the ballads are beautifully constructed, reminiscent of his encounters with Ben Webster (another debate perhaps). 'How Long Has This Been Going On','In a Mellow Tone', 'Somebody Loves Me' show his breathy and harsher tones.
NIGHT HAWK: Great fun. 'Lockjaw' Davis joins in the repertoire with backing by Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Gus Johnson. Gutsy sax playing. Extended piece 'Night Hawk'along with the classics 'In A Mellow Tone' and 'There Is No Greater Love' add to a fine album.
ADDITIONAL SESSIONS: Coleman playing Newport allows more space. He reinforces the solo brilliance we know he is capable of. What more?
Coleman Hawkins is truly a genius and pivotal in jazz music. The joys of his music are here but lots more out there. Any style, any place. Listen, please, and enjoy. Original liner notes and superb re-mastered sound.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hawk in Flight, 8 July 2011
By 
Terry McCaffrey (Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
Avid has always done a great service for music lovers. I have 8 in my growing collection and this latest arrival is another one from the top drawer. Coleman Hawkins was still blowing a storm when these recordings were made between Oct. '56 and Dec. '60. On these albums he was making out with the likes of Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Roy Eldridge and the MJQ. I listen to a lot of streamed jazz when working on my computer - much of which is excellent background - but "Night Hawk" stopped me dead. A stunning piece. Hawk plays alongside "Lockjaw" and Flanagan for 10.29min of absolute bliss. The excellent liner notes from the original album (another valuable feature of Avid's output) reveal that Hawkins "composed it on the spot in the studio" and later on "didn't even remember it". Whether or not you are new to the jazz canon Coleman Hawkins is a name which cannot be ignored. This cd is superb value and an excellent example of the master's output.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great record!, 25 April 2013
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
For any body not familiar with Coleman Hawkins music this record would be a great introduction to one of the top saxophonists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hawk talks, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
This man is widely regarded as the greatest tenor man of all time and this disc demonstrates why. No man has ever rivalled him in the world of jazz, he was a genius. This disc features some of his early worh as well as some later stuff. If you wonder why he was so highly rated, this disc will provide some of the answers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags)/ The Genius of Coleman Hawkins., 14 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
I like this selection because it covers a wide range of moods and suits an old fogie like me who enjoyed jazz back in the 1950s. I'm pleased I found this on Amazon, thanks for your quick delivery service.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Coleman, 18 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
I preferred the first CD. Cool and sophisticated, the second was too frantic and clever and Coleman proving he was technically competent rather than a nice easy listening sound. A good buy at the price.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT TONE OF MR H, 15 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. Aa James - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
THIS IS AGREAT CROSS SECTION OF COLEMAN HAWKINS MUSIC . IDO LIKE THE INTERPLAY
BETWEEN THE HAWK AND MILT JACKSON . I WONT SAY TOO MUCH MORE, BUT FOR SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOVERING COLEMAN HAWKINS FOR THE FIRST TIME THESE 2 CDS IN THE EXCELLENT AVID SERIES IS A PERFECT INTRODUCTION.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THERE IS NO GREATER, 25 April 2011
By 
Barry McCanna (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
This compilation pairs the Hawk with Milt Jackson in "Bean Bags" from 1959, Oscar Peterson in "The Genius of CH" from 1957, and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis in "Night Hawk" from 1960, plus two bonus tracks from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festrival, and the track "Kerry" with Roy Eldridge at the Opera House which was omitted from Avid's Roy Eldridge album (AMSC 1024). My only reservation is that all appear to be in mono.

The first album finds the Hawk sharing the spotlight with Milt Jackson on vibraharp, assisted by the splendid quartet of pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Eddie Jones and drummer Connie Kay, and producing some deliciously sensuous sounds on six contrasting tracks. The Oscar Peterson Trio plus Alvin Stoller on drums support the Hawk on twelve standards, understandably deferring to his role as soloist, in which he showed that the power of his playing was undiminished. Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis provided the foil to the Hawk's cutting edge, and their encounter produced some memorable moments.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another value money for money release from Avid., 4 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Bean Bags / The Genius of Coleman Hawkins / Night Hawk) (Audio CD)
There are some excellent highly detailed reviews already on this site. I can see no point in duplicating them. So I am reduced to supporting these reviewers.
As usual we have a high quality double album from Avid, re-engineered for sound. The three LPs featured date from 1957 - 1960 and the playing on all three is superb, not only by Coleman Hawkins but his colleagues. Details of track titles and personnel are available on the website. Avid supply a detailed booklet in the jewel pack.
Extremely good value for money.
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