A 1947 encounter with Charlie Parker may have been the defining moment in Hampton Hawes's musical development, but the spirituals he heard while growing up in a church pastored by his father also left an indelible mark on his distinctive and always soulful piano art. Those spirituals, the self-taught musician told Nat Hentoff, were "close to the blues in their chord progressions." It's therefore not surprising that, of the major bop pianists associated with the thriving Southern California jazz scene of the 1950s, Hawes had the strongest affinity for the blues. He recorded many blues numbers, mostly of his own composition, during his roller coaster career. Eleven of the best are contained herein.
with Ray Brown, Frank Butler, Bruz Freeman, Jim Hall, Barney Kessel, Scott LaFaro, Harold Land, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Chuck Thompson