Coleman Hawkins: The Man I Love


The Man I Love


Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)


Ken Burns Jazz: Coleman Hawkins (Verve 549085)

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Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Eddie Heywood (piano), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Shelly Manne (drums).

Composed by George & Ira Gershwin


Recorded: New York, December 23, 1943


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Nearly everyone hearing this track for the first time would likely become a lifelong Hawkins fan and admirer, if not already so. Less celebrated than his 1939 "Body and Soul," it is still one of Hawk's best recorded performances, and a prime example of his greatness and why he influenced countless jazz saxophonists. Heywood's infectious, sprightly extended piano intro, followed by Pettiford's deeply intoned, expressive bass solo accompanied by his own vocalized gasps, are both mere preambles to Hawkins's riveting solo that encompasses the entire remainder of the piece. (Who could follow this?) Hawkins commences at a deceptively even keel, unwaveringly on the beat. Soon he begins to break up his rhythmic patterns and raise the dynamic level, his tone becoming gruffer and more emphatic. His riff-like phrases are interspersed with contrasting arpeggios as he progresses towards his logical and satisfying resolution that completes a perfectly structured and executed statement.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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