Coleman Hawkins Quintet: The Hawk Swings (1960) 2012

subtitled: The Crown Sessions

The Hawk Swings - The Crown Sessions [FSRCD 743]

Track list:

01. Moodsville
02. After Midnight
03. Bean in Orbit
04. Stalking
05. Hassle
06. Cross Town
07. Shadows
08. Cloudy
09. Stake Out
10. Almost Dawn


Thad Jones – trumpet;
Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax;
Eddie Costa – piano, vibes;
George Duvivier – bass;
Osie Johnson – drums.
Nat Pierce – piano (#7)

Recorded: New York City, 1960
#01-05: released on “Coleman Hawkins and His Orchestra” [Crown CST-206]
#06-10: released on “The Hawk Swings” [Crown CST-224]

Original recordings produced by: Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley (#1-7), Orrin Keepnews (#8-10)

This compilation:
Released: December 21, 2012
Label: Fresh Sound Records

This compilation previously released as:
Coleman Hawkins Quintet – Moodsville [FRSCD 343]

Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

[Crown CST 206]


The abiding contemporaneousness of Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969) became in the late Fifties something of a cliché.

But cliché or not, he was a 56-year-old veteran who started in jazz 40 years earlier with Mamie Smith’s Jazz Hounds, and who—when he recorded these sessions—more than held his own with younger jazzmen like Thad Jones and Eddie Costa.

That is because Hawk was always ahead, harmonically.

It was a thing of wonder, to be sure, to hear Hawkins blowing with those “modernists” in this relaxed set where none of the tempos rises above medium-up.

All frameworks for blowing are in the familiar mould of theme-solos-outchorus, and the full session finds Hawk in great form, as if he’s got all the time in the world to make his point with a succession of gorgeous solos, full of warmth and invention.

Thad Jones, always an intelligent player, is clever and distinctive on open or muted horn, Eddie Costa brings his individuality to bear on vibes and piano, contributing unconventionally and excitingly, while Duvivier and Johnson display fine rapport with him, blending together in a swinging, effective rhythm section.

[Crown CST 224]


“The music included on this CD re-issue has always been a bit mysterious.

Recorded sometime in 1960, it was originally released on a pair of cheap-looking LPs by the Crown label.

The composers of the songs have never been listed, although it is probable that some were written by tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, pianist Eddie Costa and trumpeter Thad Jones (who probably was responsible for the bulk of the tunes).

Even for the 2004 re-issue, the origin of the music is not known.

None of the songs would become standards and they sound moderately modern for 1960 without being more advanced than hard bop.

Nat Pierce is the pianist on “Shadows” but otherwise all of the piano chores are taken by Eddie Costa, who also plays vibes on a couple numbers.

Hawkins and Jones are both in excellent form, digging into the chord changes, some of which seem a little familiar although usually not based exactly on any earlier standard; an exception is “Shadows” which is very close to “Under a Blanket of Blue.”

The fact that Hawkins could sound so comfortable with modernists from younger generations is always impressive.

Although falling slightly short of essential, this is certainly the best re-issue of this obscure material.”
~Scott Yanow[]