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Late

Erskine Hawkins

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B000002WH2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

I generally don't go in for best-of's or compilations ... but this one on RCA/Bluebird is very tasty. I'm sure there are other Erskine Hawkins admirers here.

Strange (sort of) — while listening to it, some of the playing didn't sound all that out of line to me from, say, the Art Ensemble of Chicago (namely Lester Bowie) or even some of the Ayler Bro.'s work.

A good one to put on after this disc is Chick Webb's Spinnin' the Webb. In fact, I CD-R'ed them together. 79:15 of bliss.

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The French lps of the RCA Hawkins Orchestra are really cool; I've got those in the Jazz Tribune series.. . . this was a fun band. I don't QUITE see those more contemporary referrences, but that doesn't matter; stands well on its own.

Those guys seemed to have FUN. ^_^

Edited by jazzbo

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I don't QUITE see those more contemporary referrences, but that doesn't matter; stands well on its own.

Dig. (It does stand on its own.) The more modern connections — well, they probably are something of a stretch, but I've been listening to music in such a way recently (Free America titles ... then Erskine Hawkins ... then BYG titles ... then Chick Webb ... then ESP titles ... then Benny Moten) that the connections are making sense (maybe more than they should) to my brain. I'm hearing the "jazz continuum" ... !

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The Erskine Hawkins Orchestra is a great band. It seems to be pretty much overlooked these days. Nice bunch of soloists too. I'm especially fond of baritone player Heywood Henry. Second only to Carney in this period.

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Erskine himself, who might have been one of the hundred best trumpet players of the swing era, was billed as "The 20th Century Gabriel" by RCA Records. This blatant hyperbole won him no friends among jazz critics and historians and probably accounts for his being pretty much written out of jazz history, despite the excellence of his band.

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Erskine himself, who might have been one of the hundred best trumpet players of the swing era, was billed as "The 20th Century Gabriel" by RCA Records. This blatant hyperbole won him no friends among jazz critics and historians and probably accounts for his being pretty much written out of jazz history, despite the excellence of his band.

If so, that really sucks.

This band was a joy.

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The Erskine Hawkins Orchestra is a great band. It seems to be pretty much overlooked these days. Nice bunch of soloists too. I'm especially fond of baritone player Heywood Henry. Second only to Carney in this period.

The most brilliant member of the band was probably the piano player, Avery Parrish. If he would have lived just a little bit longer, he would be a household name in jazz circles. In fact, he is a household name among blues and jazz pianists (and many guitarists) for After Hours alone.

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Berigan hipped me to a good, cheaply-priced 2-CD set on Collectables:

1938-39

I don't think there's a whole lot of overlap with this and the compilation that you tout, Late (it is a good one--have it myself).

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I pulled out the above-mentioned Collectables set today for the first time in many years. Too bad that the CD reissue of the RCA double-albums appears to have begun and ended with this release. 

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B000002WH2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

I have that one, too, and think it does the job very nicely. Indeed a fun band.

Edited by mikeweil

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1 hour ago, ghost of miles said:

I pulled out the above-mentioned Collectables set today for the first time in many years. Too bad that the CD reissue of the RCA double-albums appears to have begun and ended with this release. 

Apart from a few other Erskine Hawkins LP, I've in fact owned the five LPs by that band that were reissued in the Black & White series on French RCA in the 70s for about 20 years now and they have been among my favorites from the swing era ever since. Just recently, though, I grabbed Vol. 1/2 of the "Complete" Erskine Hawkins double LPs from the French RCA "Jazz Tribune" series (did they ever go beyond Vol. 3/4?) at a local secondhand vinyl shop in mint condition for a price you just could not resist - figuring at that money a duplicate set of the music would not hurt. On comparing closer I found there were quite a few newbies because whereas the Black & White series gathers all the essentials, instrumentals and dance floor fillers as well as a select few vocals, the Jazz Tribune "Cmplete" volume has quite a few more vocals, not all of which are on the ballad side. While no desert island discs, their versions of "Big Wig In The Wigwam" or "Do You Wanna Jump Children", etc. are quite enjoyable too as "30s flashback" fare and deserve not to be forgotten.

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