Hawkins, Coleman (Randolph)

Hawkins, Coleman (Randolph)

biographical name


Coleman Hawkins, c. 1943.—Reprinted with permission of Down Beat magazine

(born Nov. 21, 1904, St. Joseph, Mo., U.S.—died May 19, 1969, New York, N.Y.) U.S. jazz musician. Hawkins came to prominence as a member of Fletcher Henderson's big band (1924–34), with which he absorbed the style of Louis Armstrong and developed the smooth legato phrasing and robust tone that set the technical standard for all tenor players. He worked in Europe (1934–39) and soon after his return recorded “Body and Soul,” which became a commercial success and one of the masterpieces of improvised jazz. Hawkins was the first important tenor saxophone soloist in jazz. He was receptive to the harmonic advances made by younger players, who widely acknowledged his influence.

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