The funkiest jazz pianist based on the West Coast, Hampton Hawes (1928-1977) made four LPs for Prestige in the early 1970s, at about the same time he began playing the electric piano. The two LPs paired here showcase Hawes on both instruments. Aside from his unifying pianistic presence, the two albums--one live, the other very much a studio date--are unequivocally different. The in-concert performance is more loose. On Sonny Rollins's funk-calypso title track, Hawes's treatment is straight-ahead and bluesy, while on "Stella by Starlight," he moves compellingly from the grand piano to the electric and back again to the grand. Staunch support is provided by Bob Cranshaw and the Zeus of modern drumming, Kenny Clarke. In the studio, another Hawes trio, this one with the outstanding L.A. session player Carol Kaye on bass, is augmented by a six-man horn section arranged by David Axelrod. The mood is decidely '70s-contemporary, but Hawes's genuinely funky lines bring Southern soul through the Northern Windows.
with George Bohanon, Kenny Clarke, Bob Cranshaw, Allen DeRienzo, William Green, Carol Kaye, Jackie Kelso, Jay Migliori, Spider Webb, Snooky Young