Coleman Randolph Hawkins, 21 November 1904, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA, d. 19 May 1969, New York City, New York, USA. Coleman Hawkins (aka Bean and Hawk) is a colossus of the tenor saxophone, and hence of jazz. He was the first to use the instrument as a serious means of expression and continued to be open to new developments for 40 years. Starting piano lessons at the age of five, he later learned cello and took up tenor saxophone when he was nine years old. Within a few years he was playing dances and appearing in Kansas and Chicago. He attended Washburn College in Topeka and toured as a member of Mamie Smiths Jazz Hounds in 1921. He joined Fletcher Hendersons Orchestra in 1924, a sophisticated New York dance band then coming to terms with the new jazz music - hot and improvised - that Louis Armstrong, who had also joined Henderson in 1924, had brought from New Orleans by way of Chicago. Released in 1926, The...
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