music clip of the day


Tag: Coleman Hawkins

Wednesday, 11/21/12

Happy (108th) Birthday, Hawk!

Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophonist, November 21, 1904-May 16, 1969

“Prisoner of Love,” 1958 (Art Ford’s Jazz Party, music starts at 1:15)


“Lover Man,” 1961


“Body and Soul,” London, 1967




WKCR-FMbroadcasting from Columbia University, is playing his music—and nothing but—until midnight. (Thank God for college radio.)


reading table

We’re all in this apart.

—David Ferry, “Found Single-Line Poems,” excerpt (Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations [2012])


something to get you in the holiday mood

William Burroughs, “Thanksgiving Prayer” (Gus Van Sant, dir.)

Monday, 3/5/12

Has there ever been a finer hour of jazz—of music—on TV?

The Sound of Jazz (CBS), 1957*

(A couple excerpts have been posted previously—here and here—but until the other day I’d never seen the whole show.)

*With Count Basie (piano), Thelonious Monk (piano), Billie Holiday (vocals), Jimmy Rushing (vocals), Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone), Ben Webster (tenor saxophone), Lester Young (tenor saxophone), Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone), Jimmy Giuffre (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Pee Wee Ellis (clarinet), Henry “Red” Allen (trumpet), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Vic Dickenson (trombone), Danny Barker (guitar), Freddie Green (guitar), Jim Hall (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), Jo Jones (drums), et al.

Monday, 1/30/12

Henry “Red” Allen (trumpet), with Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone), Vic Dickenson (trombone), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Rex Stewart (cornet), Danny Barker (guitar), Nat Pierce (piano), Milt Hinton (bass), Papa Jo Jones (drums), “Wild Man Blues,” live (TV Broadcast, The Sound of Jazz), 1957

All-star jam sessions often fizzle. Not this one. What makes this so good? A lot of it, I think, has to do with saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, who takes the first solo after trumpeter Red Allen states the melody. Right from the beginning (1:27-) it’s apparent that Hawkins isn’t just going through the motions. He plays, throughout, with great concentration and conviction, not wasting a moment. This inspires everyone; you can see it in their faces (1:44-47, 1:55-58, 2:03-08, 2:39-44). He gives the others a lot to live up to—and they do.

(Yo, Randy—thanks for the tip!)

Sunday, 11/21/10

ain’t no grave can hold . . .

Johnny Cash, “Ain’t No Grave,” 2003 (recorded), 2010 (released)

Vodpod videos no longer available.



The Johnny Cash Project is a global collective art project, and we would love for you to participate. Through this website, we invite you to share your vision of Johnny Cash, as he lives on in your mind’s eye. Working with a single image as a template, and using a custom drawing tool, you’ll create a unique and personal portrait of Johnny. Your work will then be combined with art from participants around the world, and integrated into a collective whole: a music video for “Ain’t No Grave,” rising from a sea of one-of-a-kind portraits.

Strung together and played in sequence over the song, the portraits will create a moving, ever evolving homage to this beloved musical icon.  What’s more, as new people discover and contribute to the project, this living portrait will continue to transform and grow, so it’s virtually never the same video twice.

Ain’t No Grave is Johnny’s final studio recording. The album and its title track deal heavily with themes of mortality, resurrection, and everlasting life. The Johnny Cash Project pays tribute to these themes. Through the love and contributions of the people around the world that Johnny has touched so deeply, he appears once again before us.

The Johnny Cash Project is a visual testament to how the Man in Black lives on—not just through his vast musical legacy, but in the hearts and minds of all of us around the world he has touched with his talent, his passion, and his indomitable spirit. It is this spirit that is the lifeblood of The Johnny Cash Project. Thank you for helping Johnny’s spirit soar once more. God bless.

Chris Milk



reading table

Without trouble, there is no life.

—New Orleans restaurateur Provino Mosca, quoted in Calvin Trillin, U.S. Journal, “No Daily Specials,” New Yorker, 11/22/10



Happy Birthday, Hawk!

Today, Coleman Hawkins’ (106th) birthday, the folks at WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University) are celebrating in their usual way—playing his music all day (and then some [til 9:30 a.m. tomorrow]).

When I heard Hawk I learned to play ballads.

Miles Davis

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