Coleman Hawkins “Hawk Eyes” (1959)

Track Selection : “La Rosalita”


Coleman Hawkins (ts) Charlie Shavers (t) Tiny Grimes (g) Ray Bryant (p)  George Duvivier (b) Osie Johnson (d) Recorded April 3rd 1959


Hawkins was one of those older tenor voices from the Lester Young era, with a very distinctive brash reedy sound, and a vibrato reminiscent of Sidney Bechet, used to good effect in this romantic ballad “La Rosalita”. (Yeah, I know this sounds like wine-tasting notes)  I have a slight preference for the slower tempo for this voice than the racing up-tempo pieces. Fewer notes but more thought as to where they are pitched. It’s a slightly old-fashioned sound but rock solid in the rhythm section. A little Hawkins helps put in perspective the sounds of later tenor players. Bit of Bird here, some Hawkins there..


The Original PRLP 7156 “Hawk Eyes”  looks like this:-

Here on the ever reliable Esquire UK pressing of Prestige originals. The vinyl weighs around 220gm at a rough guess. Audiophile credentials! Unusually heavy for around 1960. The sound is rich and earthy and a fair bit better than my few Prestige originals from the same period. Esquire ran to about 200 releases in their 32-000  12″ series catalogue, and rarely fail to please.

4 thoughts on “Coleman Hawkins “Hawk Eyes” (1959)

  1. Love Hawkins, old school player with so much soul, always a pleasure to hear him play. Surprised to see only one Hawkins album here…more please !

  2. For a second I thought of the CD that I have of his also not to be missed LP “The Hawk Flies High”. Audio sample is superb, I bet this one is still available for cheap on CD, so it’s in a straight line to the record store tomorrow 😉

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