Hawkins, Monk and more Sax

Over 2 cd mp3 compilations I have Coleman Hawkins: Body & Soul, Bean Bags, Genius of, Night Hawk, Duke Ellington Meets CH. Along with lps by Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!; Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section; Jerry Mulligan: Lonesome Boulevard; Jan Garbarek: Dansere; Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Yes, that’s a lot of sax with some jazz piano in the mix.

 

Hawkins has a fun, sometimes funky, thick sax sounds. The tracks have a friendly feeling to them like a boozy nightclub – unlike say Coltrane – whose sound is more ‘intellectual’  & controlled (not that Coltrane didn’t play fine free jazz too). I can see myself dirty dancing to Hawkins, Coltrane is more ballet 🙂 Ornette Coleman is modern experimental 🙂

He also appears in one session on Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Monk can be challenging but is worth the demands. He was a jazz revolutionary, wrote too many standards to list. The Prestige work is all excellent, sometimes a bit dissonant but never to the point when it alienates the listener. Rhythmically adventurous & as a group leader he encouraged his sideman to shine.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!. Stan Getz has a smoother, almost cocktail, sound. One of the foremost samba-Latin musicians he popularized many now jazz standards. Charlie Byrd is an amazing acoustic guitarist. Any of these are a excellent introductions to Latin jazz. Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section. Pepper, as his name indicates, is a more restless sax player. Nice tone & energizing. Jerry Mulligan’s Lonesome Boulevard is a great comfortable set with a bluesy feeling. Mulligan replaced Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Finally & totally different from all the others is Jan Garbarek’s Dansere. His sax sound is much sharper, his playing more sculptural & the material on this lps verges on classical in his lyrical approach. Elegant as opposed to funky.

Aunt Neddes was coming to visit. I was excited. Her real name was Nelly but somehow we started caller her Neddes. Though my Dad referred to her as that old prude. Another thing I never really understood. Though she was old, at least to my nine year old self, forty seemed pretty old. I know she was forty because her birthday fell while she was staying with us.

My mother was having a baby soon. That was why Neddes was coming to stay with us for a while to help around the house. My Dad called her a prude because she didn’t smoke or drink but was lots of fun all the same. 

We went to the airport to meet her. I had met her a few years earlier so I sort of had an idea of what she looked like but when my mother started waving at this tall woman in a long green coat I didn’t recognize her. I was bowled over by the coat but also by the emerald green hat she was wearing. Tight on her head like a toque only made out of feathers with little clusters of glittery stuff on it. 

‘Can I try on your hat.’ I exclaimed even before I said hello to her. ‘Can I. Can I.’

‘Now Jim boys don’t wear things like this.’ Neddes laughed. She hugged my Mother and shook hands with my Dad.

I tried not to cry.

‘But I do have something for you in my suitcase. You can try it on when we get home.’ She took me by the hand as we walked to the car. My Dad dragged one of her suitcases.

‘What you got in here anyway. A body!’

‘There, there Dan. A woman has to be ready for everything. Especially here in the frontier.’ she laughed. ‘Why my sister let you drag here to this ….’

‘Enough.’ My mother gave her a sharp look. ‘Let’s get you home and settled in then we can discuss the lay of this land.’


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