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Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set: Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947


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“Almost all of the recordings Hawkins made throughout a 45 year period were outstanding examples of improvisation, but among them were masterpieces by which all jazz tenor saxophone solos will forever be judged.” —John Chilton, The Song Of The Hawk

Limited Edition: 5,000 copies
8 CDs - $136.00

The Coleman Hawkins Set You’ve Been Waiting For

The saxophone was patented more than a half century before jazz developed but their affinity for each other might be nearly perfect. Potent, like the brass instruments whose ringing bell it shares, yet, sensitive as a clarinet thanks to the way its cane reed responds to changing embouchure, tonguing, breath, and attack, the saxophone can do everything a jazz instrument needs to do.

And no one knew it until Coleman Hawkins showed us how

The man whose innovations elevated saxophone to its rightful place in jazz is finally getting the retrospective he deserves, in a manner that only Mosaic can deliver. Thanks to our “limited edition" policy and the fact that rights to recordings on a host of labels have come to be owned by Sony Music, we are able to present a collection that crosses original label boundaries to define what was truly the best. We're calling it “Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947" and it covers Hawkins as a leader and as a sideman

The Music Is A Revelation

From the dawning of jazz's earliest days, through the developments that coalesced into swing with its rhythmic intensity and vibrant soloists, and on into the more modern era as small groups began experimenting with time and harmonics, Hawkins was a driving force for innovation and personal discovery. Not only did the music evolve; Hawkins evolved.

Hawkins was almost an exact contemporary of Louis Armstrong's; he was born three years later and died two years sooner. And while Armstrong unquestionably gets the credit for making jazz a genre for soloists, Hawkins shares some of the recognition for forging a personal direction on his instrument.

The slap-tongue style in vogue when he first came up is present in Hawkins' sound at the outset, but within months of being signed by Fletcher Henderson, his tone is full and the lines more fluid. Over the years, he takes a more elastic approach to time, hanging his solo against the rhythm instead of slavishly conforming to it and building exquisitely constructed melodies. Unlike many other tenor masters, he never appears to trot out reliable, stock licks. He is spontaneously composing. When you realize this is the late 1920s, the maturity of his choices is even more astonishing.

Ballads become his trademark

Through the 1930s, his growth is exponential, especially in his ballad playing. Buttery warm and cozy, he finds notes that always work within the chord and are clearly there for anyone to find. But he's the one who finds them. And what is there to say about his solo on 1939's “Body and Soul" that hasn't already been said? This is the music that has proven so inspirational to generations of tenor saxophonists since; the endless possibility when taste and intelligence take on exceptional material.

Our jam-packed set on eight CDs includes 190 tracks, 12 never before released. Included is material from Coleman's earliest days with Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds, his time with Henderson including various pseudonym bands and offshoots that shared personnel, the Mound City Blue Blowers, Benny Goodman's orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Count Basie, co-leader sides with trumpeter Henry Red Allen, Cozy Cole, and a variety of all-star dates for Metronome, Leonard Feather, and Esquire, as well as recordings as a leader of his own dates.

Accurate. Complete. Sound quality

Our research has corrected many discrepancies in previous discographies. In an effort to be complete within the scope of the project, we have gone back to the best source available for every one of these recordings, be those original metal masters, test pressings, 78s, and in a couple of instances where no other source can be found, commercial CDs. Liner notes are by Loren Schoenberg, a Grammy-winner for his notes to our Woody Herman set. The box also includes a host of rare photographs from Hawkins' career.

We took loving care with this project, believing it may be the last time some of it will ever be available. Please don't miss out on this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own music you will listen to forever.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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