Hampton Hawes – Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes

More Hampton Hawes

More Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This hard-to-find ’70s Contemporary reissue pressing of the 1956 mono recording has EXCELLENT sound, with both sides earning grades of A+ to A++. We don’t run into Hawes’ LPs the way we used to, so it was indeed a delight to find enough copies of this album to do a shootout.

Note how correct the sound of the instruments is on both sides. This is the unquestionably the hallmark of any Contemporary recording: correct instrumental timbre.

Side One

A+ to A++, with correct mids and bass but lacking some top end. As the record plays, however, the top comes into play, an effect we notice more and more often these days.

If you have a “tubey” system this record will be a knockout. It needs some of that sound to work its magic.

Side Two

A+ to A++, and not that different from side one. This side could use more top and it lacks the last word in transparency. Notice how at the beginning the piano sounds slightly thin, but when the bass comes in under it everything balances out correctly.

AMG Review

The third of three Hampton Hawes trio dates with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson is on the same high level as his first two. Hawes introduces his “Coolin’ the Blues” and “The Sermon,” digs into eight standards (including “Somebody Loves Me,” “Night In Tunisia” and “Billy Boy”) and comes up with consistently creative ideas throughout this swinging bop date.

David Rickert Review

Hawes has an elegant style typical of West Coast playing, but infused with bebop flourishes. His powerfully rhythmic left hand anchors the forceful dancing of his right, apparent on tunes like “Somebody Loves Me” and “A Night in Tunisia.” But he also can run through a ballad without making it sound overly sentimental and of course throws in a few blues numbers to show he’s got the chops for that, too. Mitchell gets in a few enthusiastic bass solos and Thompson keeps a tight rhythmic snap behind.

The selection of tunes on this 1956 date may not be all that adventurous, but it allows Hawes to do what he does best: give a little extra juice to some well-worn standards. No groundbreaking work here, but Hawes and company have, as usual, crafted a worthwhile session of piano jazz.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Somebody Loves Me 
The Sermon 
Embraceable You 
I Remember You 
Night in Tunisia

Side Two

Lover, Come Back to Me 
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Billy Boy 
Body and Soul 
Coolin’ the Blues

AMG Review

The third of three Hampton Hawes trio dates with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson is on the same high level as his first two. Hawes introduces his “Coolin’ the Blues” and “The Sermon,” digs into eight standards (including “Somebody Loves Me,” “Night In Tunisia” and “Billy Boy”) and comes up with consistently creative ideas throughout this swinging bop date.