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Died On This Date (May 19, 1969) Coleman “The Hawk” Hawkins / Jazz Sax Great

Posted by themusicsover on May 19, 2010

Coleman Hawkins
November 21, 1904 – May 19, 1969

Coleman Hawkins was one of jazz’s first influential saxophonists. Just out of high school, Hawkins hit the road as part of Mamie Smith’s band, and just a couple of years later he teamed up with Fletcher Henderson. By 1937 he found himself in Europe touring with the likes of Django Reinhardt and Benny Carter. Hawkins’ recording of “Body And Soul” in 1939 became the definitive version of a song that has since been recorded hundreds of times, and his solo is considered one of the finest performances ever in popular music. Hawkins died of pneumonia on May 19, 1969 at the age of 64.

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2 Responses to “Died On This Date (May 19, 1969) Coleman “The Hawk” Hawkins / Jazz Sax Great”

  1. dennis olivares said

    “Bean” is a Jazz Immortal right alongside Louis Armstrong; they were even in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra together, where The Hawk established himself as founder of one of the three major schools of saxophone artistry. The others were Bud Freeman and Frankie Trumbauer. Everyone’s style (until Charlie Parker and John Coltrane) was some hybrid of these Giants, but of the three the Hawk was predominant. He was incomparable on ballads and mid-tempo romps and may only have ever been topped by Ben Webster, Lester “Prez” Young, and Zoot Sims– but then they had an unfair advantage: They stood on the shoulders of the Great One; he did it all FIRST!

    • said

      Thanks for your input throughout my blog, Dennis. I appreciate the help

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