Reference: FSRCD 756_2
It was a memorable few nights in August 1962 when these performances were captured in stereo live at New Yorks famed Village Gate. Tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, then in his late 50s, was still a force to be reckoned with and, accompanied by a superb Tommy Flanagan-Major Holley-Eddie Locke rhythm section, he was on song, stretching out gloriously on the changes of All the Things You Are and Mack the Knife, on which Flanagan also shines particularly, to pick just two examples of the quality music created.
This exceptional quartet was joined on one of these nights by Hawkins old sparring partner, the unrelenting Roy Eldridge, and the revered, one-of-a-kind Johnny Hodges, whose alto added a sensuous contrast to Eldridges combustible trumpet and Hawkins magisterial tenor. The format was simple; a blowing session with some very extended performances. But with jazzmen of this quality around and reputations to uphold, the healthily competitive edge and mutual respect yielded musical moments to remember.
01. All the Things You Are (Hammerstein II-Kern) 8:03
02. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (Traditional. Arr. by Coleman Hawkins) 10:25
03. Mack the Knife (Weill-Brecht) 8:36
04. Its the Talk of the Town (Livingston-Symes-Neiburg) 9:13
05. Bean and the Boys [Lover Come Back to Me] (Hawkins) 6:59
06. If I Had You (Shapiro-Campbell-Connelly) 8:28
07. Caravan (Ellington-Tizol-Mills) 10:21
01. Satin Doll (Ellington-Strayhorn-Mercer) 11:07
02. Perdido (Tizol-Drake-Lengsfelder) 11:25
03. The Rabbit in Jazz (Hawkins-Hodges) 16:41
04. Mack the Knife (Weil-Brecht) [Alternate version] 8:22
05. Its the Talk of the Town (Livingston-Symes-Neiburg) [Alternate version] 7:07
06. Bean and the Boys (Hawkins) [Alternate version] 6:52
CD 1, tracks #1-4, from the album "Hawkins! Alive! At the Village Gate" (Verve V6-8509)
CD 2, tracks 1-3, from the album "Hawkins! Eldridge! Hodges! Alive! At the Village Gate!" (Verve V6-8504)
CD 1, tracks #5-7 & CD 2, tracks #4-6 were not issued on the original LP configuration
Personnel on CD 1:
Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax; Tommy Flanagan, piano; Major Holley, bass; Eddie Locke, drums
Recorded at The Village Gate, New York,
August 13 & 15, 1962
Personnel on CD 2:
Same personnel as above, but Roy Eldridge, trumpet, and Johnny Hodges, alto sax added except on #4,5 & 6
Recorded Live at The Village Gate, New York, August 15, 1962
Recorded at Art DLugoffs Village Gate
Engineers: Tom Hidley & Frank Greenwald
Director of Engineering: Val Valentin
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"I dont expect every jazz fan to ONLY have music by guys like Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges and Sonny Stitt; still, a hefty collection of gents like these guys will at least give you a sound by which all other reed men must be compared. Theres a style and feel that is so natural here that you wonder either a) what was so special about that era or b) whats MISSING in todays generation?
Not only did Coleman Hawkins essentially invent the tenor sax for jazz, but he changed with the times, starting with pre-Swing and evolving with Swing, bebop and hard bop even going toe to toe with the avant garde once in awhile. Here, at the Village Gate, hes at his most comfortable milieu, fronting a quartet with the erudite team of Tommy Flanagan/p, Major Holley/b and Eddie Locke for over half of the 2 disc set. His mastery of creativity on material like All The Things You Are and Bean and the Boys is on a comparable level to Beethovens Symphonies. Its simply that majestic. And ballads?!? He floats with mystery and authority on Its The Talk of the Town toying with the melody and flirting with hints of various permutations. Compatriots Roy Eldridge/tp and Johnny Hodges/as jump on stage for a few tunes, with Eldridge glowing on Satin Doll and Hodges playing a perfectly simple, fluffy and poignant blues on The Rabbit in Jazz. This collection of tunes begs for transcriptions!"
George W. Harris (July 8, 2013)
Notes on "Alive!":
"From the mid-'50s until Coleman Hawkins's death in 1969, the tenor-saxophonist frequently teamed up with trumpeter Roy Eldridge to form a potent team. However, Hawkins rarely met altoist Johnny Hodges on the bandstand, making this encounter a special event. Long versions of "Satin Doll," "Perdido" and "The Rabbit in Jazz" give these three classic jazzmen (who are ably assisted by the Tommy Flanagan Trio) chances to stretch out and inspire each other. The remainder of this set has Eldridge and Hodges absent while Coleman Hawkins (on "new" versions of "Mack the Knife," "It's the Talk of the Town," "Bean and the Boys" and "Caravan") heads the quartet for some excellent playing. Timeless music played by some of the top veteran stylists of the swing era."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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