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The Tenor Saxophone
ing the reed gave some of the solos a disjointed effect; but the seeds of greatness already were perceptible. The record generally regarded as the first landmark in Hawkins' career is Hello, Lola and One Hour, recorded in 1929 with Red McKenzie's Mound City Blue Blowers. The first title is a stomp in which Hawkins* tone, fuller and more rounded, is applied to a savagely swinging attack. One Hour gives a forestaste of the exquisite ballad style that was to become his most successful technique. The next Hawkins landmark was Body and Soul, recorded in October 1939, a few weeks after he had returned from five years of triumph as a renowned ambassador of jazz in England, Holland and France. Body and Soul was the apotheosis of the ballad approach to jazz, its tone demonstrating the body, its phrasing the soul in his ever-sensitive, harmonically and melodicaUy advanced mind.
Hawkins remained undisputed king of the tenor for many years, winning magazine polls as recently as 1947. When the bop revolution came along, instead of fighting it, he joined it, inĀ­corporating many of its characteristics in his own style. In 1957 still one of the great stars of his instrument and still active around New York, he had maintained all the qualities that brought him adulation from fellow musicians three decades earlier, when he had been the first to march bodily into an instrumental territory alien to jazz; but in the long interim subtle changes had been wrought in his style. Following a suggestion by Nat Hentoff in Down Beat, musicians experimented by playing Hawkins* new record of Therell Never Be Another You, with the turntable speeded up from 33M to 45 r.p.m. They were astonished to observe that with the tenor thus raised to the pitch of an alto, his style was the twin of Charlie Parkers.
Hawkins' reign has been long and deeply influential. During the 1930s and '40s a score of tenor men in the big name bands inevitably were judged by the standard he had set, though many developed attractive and highly individual sounds and styles of their own.*
* The following alphabetical list includes in parentheses the names of their most important affiliations and periods of influence:
The late Chu Berry (Cab Calloway, 1937-41), best remembered for his superb ballad version of Ghost of a Chance; Don Byas (Andy Kirk, 1939-