Some say Coleman Hawkins made the saxophone a jazz instrument, that before him it was relatively an unimportant piece of an ensemble.
It’s written somewhere that Miles Davis said he learned to play ballads from Hawk.
Despite having worked in information technology and data processing almost my entire work career, I am basically a luddite. But I am so appreciative of all the recording devices that have captured music over the decades.
I don’t wish that I could relive my life, nor do I wish for the good old days, nor do I think that yesterday’s music was better than today’s. I do wish some of Coleman Hawkins’ music could have been with me at certain times in my life, however.
Here, on a Friday, is a master of jazz balladry. The final video is a compilation of songs that includes some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century – notice how many smiles occur during the session. Ahh, smiles. Not grimaces, not grits, not distorted looks of pain in attempting to hit possible notes, not any attempt to prove how hard they’re working: smiles, as if making great music was pleasurable and effortless.