Hampton Hawes: Hip




Hampton Hawes (piano)


For Real! (Contemporary 3589)

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Hampton Hawes (piano), Harold Land (tenor sax), Scott LaFaro (bass), Frank Butler (drums).

Composed by Hampton Hawes


Recorded: Los Angeles, March 17, 1958


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

A divine head start if there ever was one, Hampton Hawes was born with six fingers on each hand. The extra digits were removed shortly after birth, but the ten remaining members paid tribute to their two lost brethren by taking up the piano as a youngster. A student of boogie-woogie, stride and swing until childhood buddy Eric Dolphy introduced him to the work of Bird and Diz, Hawes reduced his wide range of jazz influences to an intense, historically steeped, swinging bop voice. Land and Hawes trade off the melody here, and their respective solos are both inspired and impressive. Note the dominance of Hawes's right hand to create an improvisatory statement that's often more reminiscent of a horn player than a pianist. LaFaro's walking and solo are expectedly perfect.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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