Desafinado: Plays Bossa Nova & Jazz Samba Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster

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  • 1Desafinado05:48
  • 2I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover (Jazz Samba)02:52
  • 3Samba Para Bean05:27
  • 4I Remember You03:58
  • 5One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota So)05:59
  • 6O Pato (The Duck)04:10
  • 7Un Abraco No Bonfa (An Embrace To Bonfa)04:51
  • 8Stumpy Bossa Nova02:32
  • Total Runtime35:37

Info for Desafinado: Plays Bossa Nova & Jazz Samba

That Coleman Hawkins jumped on the jazz/bossa nova bandwagon craze initiated by Stan Getz in 1962 was a bit of a surprise to his fans, but that he was comfortable in the idiom should not be off-putting.

Able to adapt to any style over his lengthy career, the legendary tenor saxophonist chose classic standards adapted to Brazilian rhythms, music from masters like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto, and a Manny Albam original. Producer Bob Thiele and music director Albam were strong in their resolve directing Hawkins to do this project, and the results are fairly predictable, especially considering that every single track is played in midtempo. The difference is the deployment of two guitarists in Barry Galbraith (lead) and Howard Collins (rhythm) split into separate stereo channels, with bassist Major Holley and no full kit drummer, although Eddie Locke with a minimal and stripped-down setup, Willie Rodriguez, and even Tommy Flanagan play small Latin percussion instruments.

Themes derived from nights in Rio such as the beautifully rendered title track and "One Note Samba" are quite typical, but "O Pato" (The Duck) has a component added on from Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train," while the Hawkins original "Stumpy" is adapted into "Stumpy Bossa Nova," derived from Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" with a taste of "The Man I Love" tacked on at the end. Albam's "Samba Para Bean" is standardized cool with Locke's accents via brushes on closed hi-hat cymbals, while "I Remember You" is a completely unforced, pretty rendition of this well-worn standard.

Gilberto's tribute to Luiz Bonfá, "Um Abraco No Bonfa," sports a guitar lead by Galbraith in a stretched-out frame. The curve ball is a somewhat weird crossbred samba take of "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," a truly corny song the band tried to make cool, only marginally succeeding.

The simplified style of this album overall perfectly suited the amiable, good-natured, and laid-back Hawkins at a time when the world was somewhat in political turmoil regarding Caribbean nations and the role of South America in the emerging so-called Third World. He passed away seven years later, leaving a legacy as the most revered tenor saxophonist in jazz, and this very nice recording in his long discography, unique even unto itself.“ (Michael G. Nastos, AMG)

Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan, claves
Barry Galbraith, guitar
Howard Collins, guitar
Major Holley, double bass
Eddie Locke, drums
Willie Rodriguez, percussion

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, September 12 & 17, 1962
Produced by Bob Thiele

Digitally remastered

Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins’s musical career lasted more than fifty years. Although his tenor saxophone style continued to evolve for about forty of those years, certain characteristics were constant: he always projected a big-toned and aggressive improvisational style grounded in a firm grasp of music theory and inspired by an appetite for fresh challenges.

Coleman Hawkins (1904–69) was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. Hawkins’s earliest recordings, with singer Mamie Smith in 1922 and 1923, reveal elements of his early style: an extremely percussive attack of notes and a heavy on-the-beat phrasing. His reputation grew steadily after he joined pianist Fletcher Henderson’s band in 1923, and he was Henderson’s most advanced soloist until Louis Armstrong joined the group in 1924.

In 1934, Hawkins quit the Henderson band and traveled to England and Europe for a stay that lasted about five years. He greatly appreciated European culture and liked being treated like an artist, but few of the musicians he played with there could challenge him. One of his most successful European recording sessions took place in Paris in 1937, and features short solo spots for two musicians who could stimulate him, Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt and American alto saxophonist Benny Carter, who was also living in Europe at the time.

Soon after Hawkins returned to the United States in 1939, he made his most famous record. Since the late 1920s, Hawkins had been developing a florid, rhapsodic approach to the slower songs in his repertoire. His work bore fruit on "Body and Soul," a flight of fancy that only briefly refers to the song’s original melody. Despite its abstraction, it clicked with the public and Hawkins was required to play it for the rest of his career.

From the mid-1940s on, Hawkins preferred to hire young modern musicians for his band. He recorded with trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Howard McGhee, and Theodore "Fats" Navarro, pianists Thelonious Monk and Hank Jones, trombonist J. J. Johnson, and vibraphonist Milt Jackson. In the 1960s, he was one of the few musicians of his generation to be sought out by modernists like drummer Max Roach and his fellow tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Despite Hawkins’s sympathy toward young, exploratory musicians, some of his most successful recordings of the 1960s were encounters with his Swing-Era peers, such as tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, who had long emulated Hawkins’s big and breathy sound, alto saxophonist Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington. (Carl Woideck, Excerpted from Ken Burns’ Jazz: The Definitive Coleman Hawkins)

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