Hampton Hawes was one of the finest jazz pianists of the 1950s, a fixture on the Los Angeles scene who brought his own interpretations to the dominant Bud Powell style. In the mid- to late '40s, he played with Sonny Criss, Dexter Gordon, and Wardell Gray, among others on Central Avenue. He was with Howard McGhee's band (1950-1951), played with Shorty Rogers and the Lighthouse All-Stars, served in the Army (1952-1954), and then led trios in the L.A. area, recording many albums for Contemporary. Arrested for heroin possession in 1958, Hawes spent five years in prison until he was pardoned by President Kennedy. He led trios for the remainder of his life, using electric piano (which disturbed his longtime fans) for a period in the early to mid-'70s, but returned to acoustic piano before dying from a stroke in 1977.
01. Buzzy (Hampton Hawes) 4:27
02. What Is This Thing Called Love (Cole Porter) 3:14
03. Bud's Blues (Sonny Stitt) 6:33
04. Another Hair Do (Charlie Parker) 4:12
05. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein) 4:32
06. Blue Bird (Charlie Parker) 6:03
07. I'll Remember April (DePaul-Raye-Johnson) 4:53
08. Where or When (Rodgers-Hart) 2:37
09. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm (Kaper-Jurmann) 2:26
10. Jumpin' Jacque (Hampton Hawes) 3:14
11. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Duke Ellington) 4:16
12. Hawes' Paws (Hampton Hawes) 3:45
13. It's You or No One (Styne-Cahn) 3:51
14. Buzzy (Charlie Parker) 3:10
15. Just One of Those Things (Cole Porter) 3:11
16. Again (Newman-Cochran) 2:28
17. What a Difference a Day Made (Grever-Adams) 4:42
18. Blue Bird (Charlie Parker) 4:06
CD 2 - Studio Sessions
01. Night and Day (Cole Porter) 2:36
02. Where or When (Rodgers-Hart) 2:57
03. Jumpin' Jacque (Hampton Hawes) 2:48
04. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Duke Ellington) 2:30
05. It's You or No One (Styne-Kahn) 2:43
06. Thou Swell (Rodgers-Hart) 2:40
07. Terrible T (Hampton Hawes) 2:42
08. Fanfare (Hampton Hawes) 2:44
09. Just Squeeze Me (Ellington-Gaines) 2:56
10. I'll Remember April (DePaul-Raye-Johnson) 2:55
11. Hamp's Paws (Hampton Hawes) 2:54
12. Move (Denzil Best) 1:54
13. Once in a While (Edwards-Green) 2:32
14. Buzzy (CHarlie Parker) 2:37
15. I Hear Music (Loesser-Lane) 3:23
16. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein) 3:53
17. I Got Rhythm (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:31
18. How High the Moon (Lewis-Hamilton) 4:13
Personnel on CD 1 [Live Sessions]
Tracks #1-6: Hampton Hawes (p), Harper Crosby (b), Lawrence Marable (d).
Recorded live at The Haig Club, September 22, 1951
Tracks #7-9: Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Larry Bunker (d).
Recorded live at The Surf Club, February 12, 1952
Tracks #10-14: Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded live at The Haig Club, September 9, 1952
Tracks #15-18: Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded live at The Haig Club, December 23, 1952
Personnel on CD 2 [Studio Sessions, except #16-18]
Tracks #1-2: Hampton Hawes (p), Harry Babasin (b, cello), Larry Bunker (d, vib).
Recorded in Hollywood, Spring 1952
Tracks #3-6: Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded in Hollywood, September 10, 1952
Tracks #7-14: Hampton Hawes (p), Larry Bunker (vib), Clarence Jones (b), Lawrence Marable (d).
Recorded in Hollywood, December 1952
Track #15: Hampton Hawes (p), Red Mitchell (b), Mel Lewis (d).
Recorded in Hollywood, May 2, 1955
Tracks #16-18: Hampton Hawes (p), Red Mitchell (b), Chuck Thompson (d).
Recorded live at the 'Embers' Club, New York, May 15, 1956
Liner notes: Alun Morgan (2004)
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
"He was just about the hardest swinging pianist one could ever hope to play with. His time was impeccable, so he made the musical part of a record session or jazz gig a sheer joy. There was never anything casual, flippant or half-hearted about his approach and though he was quiet, soft-spoken man, he was always very friendly and put out very musical 'vibrations'. Hamp always made you feel like playing and that's about as valuable an ingredient as you could ever ask for."