Hampton Hawes – All Night Session, Vol. 3

More Hampton Hawes

More Contemporary Label Jazz Recordings

  • Exceptional Demo Disc Sound on this STUNNING Contemporary Stereo LP boasting top grades on both sides
  • This is a textbook example of Contemporary sound at its best, with Tubey Magic, richness, sweetness, dead-on timbres from top to bottom thanks to the engineering brilliance of Roy DuNann and producer Lester Keonig
  • The last of three albums of material recorded by Hawes, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Eldridge “Bruz” Freeman on the night of November 12 and into the morning of November 13, 1956
  • 4 1/2 stars: “…contains three spontaneously improvised variations on the blues, one very cool extended rendition of Duke Ellington’s ‘Do Nothin’ ‘Till You Hear from Me’ and a strikingly handsome treatment of Harold Arlen’s ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.’ The briskly paced ‘Blues #4’ is especially progressive and exciting.”
  • “It’s hard to put into words how good it feels to play jazz when it’s really swinging…I’ve reached a point where the music fills you up so much emotionally that you feel like shouting hallelujah — like people do in church when they’re converted to God. That’s the way I was feeling the night we recorded All Night Session!” – Hampton Hawes

This vintage Contemporary pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What The Best Sides Of All Night Session, Vol. 3 Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1958
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We’re Listening For On All Night Session, Vol. 3

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
Blues #3

Side Two

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
Blues #4

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Vol. 3 of the Hampton Hawes Quartet’s All Night Session contains three spontaneously improvised variations on the blues, one very cool extended rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Do Nothin’ ‘Till You Hear from Me” and a strikingly handsome treatment of Harold Arlen’s “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” The briskly paced “Blues #4” is especially progressive and exciting. Apparently “Blues of a Sort” was a warm-up performance, as voices are audible (discussing a football game!) in the background during the bass solo. For this one-take marathon late-night session of November 12 and 13, 1956, Hawes chose to share the studio with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Eldridge “Bruz” Freeman, who had replaced Chuck Thompson following that musician’s sudden inability to continue touring with the group earlier that year. “We gave Chuck what money we could and left him sitting on a hospital cot in a white bathrobe.” This grim image, like much of Hawes’ autobiography Raise Up Off Me, paints a stark picture of the narcotics epidemic among jazz musicians during the ’50s. Although this was the first peak of his career, Hawes later admitted that “during the fall of 1956 I was messing up consistently — showing late on gigs or missing them altogether.” He had lots of offers for work, including the possibility of providing music for a film soundtrack: “Wanted to do it, would have paid good, but at the time I didn’t even have the bread to get high enough to get to the studio to see what they had in mind.” One of the great incongruities of bop is the fact that Charlie Parker and the musicians who were most directly influenced by him were able to be so creative and prolific while grappling with addictions that confounded, immobilized, and eventually slew them. All of these insights quietly swarm beneath the surface of what added up to more than two hours of exceptionally fine quartet jazz.


In 1958 Hawes was quoted as saying, “It’s hard to put into words how good it feels to play jazz when it’s really swinging…I’ve reached a point where the music fills you up so much emotionally that you feel like shouting hallelujah — like people do in church when they’re converted to God. That’s the way I was feeling the night we recorded All Night Session!”