An amazing set throughout – not just for the musical growth of Coleman Hawkins, but also for the development of the tenor sax in jazz, too! These sides could very well be said to be THE seminal recordings for tenor – the records that helped transform the instrument from a bit of a trick noisemaker into one of the most dominant voices in jazz during the 20th century – the beginning of a rich legacy that went onto encompass Lester Young, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, and so many others! The package captures Coleman Hawkins right at the start of his career – with vital early 78rpm recordings that move from trad to swing to some of the modern combo sounds that Hawkins would blow in the postwar years. And the range of settings is amazing, too – not a loose collection or mish-mash of material, but a really thoughtful progression that has Hawkins working with Mamie Smith, Fletcher Henderson, Clarence Williams, The Chocolate Dandies, and McKinney's Cotton Pickers in the early years – then moving up to work as a leader on his own – as well as material with Lionel Hampton
, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter, and Count Basie. Most of the later material is for small labels – like Baronet, Cont, Meritt, Neatwork, and others – and the early sides are for Okeh, Columbia, Vocalion, Brunswick, and other smaller imprints. Features 190 tracks in all, and very copious notes, too – an amazing package from Mosaic!
(Out of print. Box and book are in nice shape.)