Hampton Hawes / The Green Leaves of Summer – A Classic from Contemporary

This Contemporary Yellow Label LP has wonderful Contemporary All Tube sound, courtesy of the amazing engineering of Howard Holzer. The piano is right — weighty and percussive with a full-bodied tone. The bass definition is superb. The clarity and transparency here are nothing short of breathtaking.

Steve Ellington’s brush work on the snare is very clear on this copy, helping to push the music to the next level. On the great Sonny Rollins track, St. Thomas, Steve Ellington is doing some fancy playing on the rims of his drums — the ambience bouncing off the studio walls is amazing.

A major highlight here is the completely original interpretation of Blue Skies. Hawes gets going with some really complicated two-handed playing. With the superb clarity of this copy you won’t miss a note.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Vierd Blues
The Green Leaves of Summer 
Ill Wind 
St. Thomas

Side Two

Secret Love 
Blue Skies
The More I See You
G.K. Blues

AMG Review

Pianist Hampton Hawes’ first recording after serving five years in prison finds Hawes evolving a bit from a Bud Powell-influenced bop pianist to one familiar with more modern trends in jazz… this trio date finds Hawes interacting closely with bassist Monk Montgomery and drummer Steve Ellington (making his recording debut). Hawes had lost nothing of his swinging style while in prison, as can be heard on such numbers as “Vierd Blues,” “St. Thomas” and “Secret Love,” and he was just starting to hint at moving beyond bop. Recommended.