Coleman Hawkins, saxophonist
birth name: Coleman Randolph Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins

November 21, 1904, St. Joseph, MO ~ May 19, 1969, New York, NY

The first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic, Hawkins had a 40-year prime (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor. Coleman Hawkins started piano lessons when he was five, switched to cello at age seven, and two years later began on tenor. At a time when the saxophone was considered a novelty instrument, used in vaudeville and as a poor substitute for the trombone in marching bands, Hawkins sought to develop his own sound. ~ Allmusic: Coleman Hawkins ~ retrieved November 21, 2013 © Allmusic

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November 21, 1970 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (1) Jackson 5, I'll Be There ~ #2 (2) Carpenters, We've Only Just Begun ~ #1 (4) The Partridge Family, I Think I Love You


Hawkins is often credited as the first really important musician to play saxophone. He has a beautiful lyrical style with an amazing swing feel. ~ McGill Music: Great Sax Players ~ retrieved May 1, 2016 © McGill Music

Coleman Hawkins ~ Inducted in the 1982 Big Band And Jazz Hall Of Fame.

Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins ~ Sonny Meets Hawk! (1963) ~ Ranked #58 New Yorker 100 Essential Jazz Albums in 2008

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