Orrin's commentary (from his new liner notes): "Before [Coleman] Hawkins, the tenor saxophone-which has come to be one of the basic instruments of jazz-simply did not exist, a fact that would be disputed by neither Lester Young nor Ben Webster-his most prominent immediate successors-nor by Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane or anyone you might choose to put near the head of the line thereafter...This was not my only studio experience with Hawkins, although it was the only opportunity to deal with him strictly on his own terms, which is certainly the only appropriate way to approach a great artist."
Personnel: Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone, trombonist J.J. Johnson, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford, drummer Jo Jones, others
Key songs: "Chant," "Juicy Fruit," "Laura"
Orrin on The Keepnews Collection:
This is a series of reissues that can be described as largely centered on my incredibly long (even to me) career as a jazz producer, contributing to the careers of some of the most significant jazz performers of our day. The series follows a specific set of ground rules. In each case the original product is preserved-cover art, the notes, and the entire initial recorded content, in the exact original sequence-and it is now presented with the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering from the original master tapes. Alternate takes or originally unissued numbers, when available, appear as bonus tracks. In some instances I've added to the total lineup a never-used version that may have been recorded forty or more years ago. When that occasionally allows you to hear for the first time a "new" performance by a long-departed artist, be aware that I join you in considering this a truly wonderful addition. Finally, I have written a complete set of new commentaries, digging back into my memories of those often very good old days to tell a few more stories about this remarkable music and its people. On the whole, I am unreasonably and unshakably proud of the results.