My copy of the LP wore out long ago, but Concord Music, the inheritor of Contemporary Records, is keeping Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes in digital circulation. That’s a good idea because Hawes (1928-1977) combined something of Bud Powell’s intensity with a natural blues sensibility and an individual way of phrasing that could make a standard song sound as if he’d thought of it first. In addition, engineer Roy DuNann managed to sculpt sound to achieve the feeling of a performance in the intimacy of the listener’s living room. DuNann achieved his magic in Contemporary’s studio, which was primarily the company’s shipping room. Here’s Hawes in a track from that lovely album, with Red Mitchell on bass and Chuck Thompson playing drums, January 25, 1956.
I have never known who the alligator artist was. If you know, please send a comment.