Sunday, June 18, 2017

Music for Father’s Day

I’m still making my alphabetical way through my dad’s CDs: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Ivie Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Mildred Bailey, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Art Blakey, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Clifford Brown, Dave Brubeck, Joe Bushkin, Hoagy Carmichael, Betty Carter, Ray Charles, Charlie Christian, Rosemary Clooney, Nat “King” Cole, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Matt Dennis, Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Paul Desmond, Tommy Dorsey, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli, Bobby Hackett, and now, Coleman Hawkins. My dad had good taste, no? I owe my foundations in music to him.

Here are four beautiful recordings with which I’m marking this Father’s Day, all by Coleman Hawkins and His All-Star “Jam” Band: “Crazy Rhythm” (Irving Caesar-Joseph Meyer-Roger Wolfe Kahn), “Out of Nowhere” (Johnny Green-Edward Heyman), “Honeysuckle Rose” (Thomas “Fats” Waller-Andy Razaf) “Sweet Georgia Brown” (Ben Bernie-Maceo Pinkard-Kenneth Casey). The last side in particular is hotter than hot.

Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax; Benny Carter, alto sax and trumpet; André Ekyan, alto sax; Alix Combelle, tenor sax and clarinet; Stéphane Grappelli, piano; Django Reinhardt, guitar; Eugène d’Hellemmes, bass; Tommy Benford, drums. Recorded in Paris, April 28, 1937.

Solos on “Crazy Rhythm”: Ekyan, Combelle, Carter, Hawkins. “Out of Nowhere”: Carter, Hawkins. “Honeysuckle Rose”: Hawkins, Reinhardt, Carter. “Sweet Georgia Brown”: Hawkins, Carter, Hawkins.

My dad had these recordings on the now-out-of-print CD The Hawk in Europe: 1934–1937 (Living Era, 1988). They can still be found elsewhere on CD by searching for hawkins and 1937.

Happy Father’s Day to all.

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