Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
My choice for this month is an outstanding box set. First issued in 2000, this feast of music was edited for Properbox by Joop Visser. The years immediately before and after the US entered WW2 saw some startling changes in our music. In 1939 Coleman Hawkins returned to the US after several years in Europe. He immediately confirmed his reputation as a master improviser. As the Bebop years began he took up the challenge and recognised the new musicians. He employed Dizzy Gillespie to organise a big recording session for him. He employed Thelonious Monk as his pianist for six months. He took a Boppish band to Los Angeles and included Howard McGhee on trumpet. He used Miles Davis and Fats Navarro for recording sessions. And his own playing was just reaching its zenith. In 1944 he made some of his very best recordings with the pianist Eddie Heywood and reached similar heights when recording for Capitol in Los Angeles. But the real importance of this 4 CD set is for the wonderful record it provides of the jazz scene 1939 – 1949. If you want to understand the history of our music Joop Visser offers you an excellent guide = with a feast of music.
[Coleman Hawkins – “The Bebop Years”, Properbox 14 is still available from many sellers on the internet]