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Coleman Hawkins: “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid”

This clip, from the television program Jazz Party, is more than eight minutes long — but the climax is cut off. No matter, it’s great. The start is nice and informal, and the camera moves around quite a bit for a 1950s video. That adds a nice dimension. Hawkins takes his solo starting at about the 3:10 mark. The notes at YouTube identify all the players. In addition to Hawkins, they include Charlie Shavers, J.C. Higginbotham, Lester Young, Pee Wee Russell, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Sonny Greer and others.

The subject of the song — Symphony Sid — was Sid Torin (originally Tarnopol), a radio DJ who was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing jazz to a mass audience.

Coleman Hawkins also can be seen playing tenor sax on a Stoned, apparently improvising with Charlie Parker in 1950, in a bluesy mode in South of France Blues, Centerpiece and Body and Soul. Of special note is the guitarist in the South of France Blues clip. He apparently is Mikey Baker.

Here is Coleman’s bio and a discography.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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