b. Coleman Randoph Hawkins, 21st November 1904, St. Joseph, Missourri, U.S.A.
d. 19th May 1969, New York, New York State, U.S.A.
Coleman Hawkins started piano lessons when he was five.
He switched to the cello at the age of seven and two years later began work on the tenor.
Coleman turned professional when he was aged 12.
He was playing in a Kansas City theatre pit band in 1921 when Mamie Smith hired him to play with her Jazz Hounds.
Coleman was with the blues singer until June 1923.
They made many records in a background role and Coleman was occasionally heard on instrumental melodies.
After leaving Marnie he freelanced around New York, played briefly with Wilbur Sweatman.
In August 1923, Coleman made his first recordings with Fletcher Henderson.
When Henderson formed a permanent orchestra in January 1924, Hawkins was his main tenor.
Although (due largely to lack of competition) Coleman Hawkins was the top tenor in jazz in 1924.
After Louis Armstrong joined Henderson later in the year, Coleman's playing really came into it's own.
By 1925, Coleman was a major soloist and the following year his solo on 'Stampede' became highly influential.
Cloeman (who doubled in early years on clarinet and bass sax) would be with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra up to 1934.
In addition to his solo's with Henderson, Coleman backed some blues singers, recorded with McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and with Red McKenzie, in 1929, he recorded his first classic ballad with 'One Hour.'
By 1934 Coleman Hawkins left the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and he moved to Europe, spending five years (1934-39) overseas.
He played at first with Jack Hylton's Orchestra in England and then freelanced throughout the continent.
His most famous recording from this period was a 1937 date with Benny Carter, Alix Combille, Andre Ekyan, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli that resulted in versions of 'Crazy Rhythm' and 'Honeysuckle Rose.'
With World War II coming close, Hawkins returned to the U.S. in 1939.
His recording of 'Body and Soul' that year became his most famous record.
In 1940 he led a big band that failed to catch on so Coleman departed and became a fixture on 52nd Street.
Some of his finest recordings were recorded during the first half of the 1940's including a version of 'The Man I Love.'
Although he was already a 20-year veteran, Coleman encouraged the younger bop-oriented musicians.
He used Thelonious Monk in his 1944 quartet, led the first official bop record session (which included Dizzy Gillespie and Don Byas), had Oscar Pettiford, Miles Davis and Max Roach as sidemen early in their careers, toured in California with a sextet featuring Howard McGhee and in 1946 utilized J.J. Johnson and Fats Navarro on record dates.
Coleman toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic several times during 1946-50, visited Europe on a few occasions and in 1948 recorded the first unaccompanied saxophone solo, 'Picasso.'
Sonny Rollins considered Coleman his main influence.
Hawkins started teaming up regularly with Roy Eldridge in a quintet (their appearance at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival was notable) and he proved to still be in his prime.
Coleman Hawkins appeared in a wide variety of settings, from Red Allen's heated Dixieland band at the Metropole and leading a bop date featuring Idrees Sulieman and J.J. Johnson to guest appearances on records that included Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and (in the early '60's) Max Roach and Eric Dolphy.
During the first half of the 1960's Coleman Hawkins had an opportunity to record with Duke Ellington, collaborated on one session with Sonny Rollins and even did a bossa nova album.
By 1965, Coleman seemed to be encompassing many influences, including John Coltrane, however, he began drinking heavily after becoming disillusioned with life.
Other than a surprise appearance with Jazz at the Philharmonic in early 1969, very little of Hawkins's work during his final three and a half years became popular.
Coleman died in 1969.
Three Great Swing Saxophones (Bluebird 1929)
Recordings Made Between 1930 and 1941 (1930)
The Hawk in Europe (ASV / Living Era 1934)
Hawk in Holland (GNP 1935)
Jazz Pioneers (Prestige 1935)
Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter (Disques Swing 1935)
Dutch Treat (Xanadu 1936)
April in Paris, Featuring Body and Soul (Bluebird 1939)
In Paris (DRG 1939)
The King of the Tenor Sax (Commodore 1943)
Tenor Sax Stylings (Brunswick 1943)
The Big Three (Doctor Jazz 1943)
Rainbow Mist (Delmark 1944)
Thanks for the Memory (Xanadu 1944)
The Bean ([EmArcy] EmArcy 1944)
Bean and the Boys ([Prestige] Prestige 1944)
Hollywood Stampede (Capitol 1945)
Coleman Hawkins/Lester Young (Spotlite 1945)
Hawk Variation (Contact 1945)
A Date with Greatness (Imperial 1947)
Hawk in Flight (RCA 1947)
The Coleman Hawkins Set (Verve 1949)
Coleman Hawkins and Johnny Hodges in Paris (Vogue 1949)
Favorites (Phoenix 1951)
Body and Soul Revisited (Decca / GRP 1951)
Coleman Hawkins Favorites (Advance 1951)
Disorder at the Border (Spotlite 1952)
The Tenor Sax Album (Savoy 1954)
The Hawk Returns (Savoy 1954)
Jazz Tones (Xanadu 1954)
Accent on Tenor Sax (Urania 1955)
Cool Groove (Drive Archive 1955)
Hawk in Hi Fi (RCA 1956)
Hawk in Paris (VIK 1956)
The Gilded Hawk (Capitol 1956)
Coleman Hawkins: A Documentary (Riverside 1956)
The Big Sounds of Coleman Hawkins and Ben... (Brunswick 1956)
Think Deep (Riverside 1957)
The Hawk Flies High (Riverside / OJC 1957)
Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Pete Brown,... [live] (Verve 1957)
Coleman Hawkins and Confreres (Verve 1957)
Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve 1957)
The Genius of Coleman Hawkins (Verve 1957)
Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge at the... (Verve 1957)
Volume One: Warhorses (Jass 1957)
High and Mighty Hawk Verve 1958)
Blues Groove (Swingville 1958)
Rare Live Performance (Jazz Anthology 1958)
Saxophone Section (World Wide 1958)
Meets the Sax Section (Savoy 1958)
High Standards (Jass 1958)
Bean Bags (Atlantic 1958)
Rare Broadcasts Area 1950 [live] (Jazz Anthology 1958)
Coleman Hawkins and His Friends at a Famous... (Enigma 1958)
The Real Thing (Prestige 1958)
Soul (Prestige / OJC 1958)
All Stars at Newport [live] (1958)
Lover Man (France's 1958)
At the Bayou Club (Honeysuckle 1959)
At the Bayou Club, Vol. 2 (Honeysuckle 1959)
Stasch (Swingville 1959)
Hawk Eyes (Prestige / OJC 1959)
The Immortal Coleman Hawkins (Pumpkin 1959)
Blowin' Up a Breeze (Spotlite 1959)
With the Red Garland Trio (Swingville / OJC 1959)
Centerpiece (Phoenix 1959)
Just You, Just Me (Stash 1959)
Dali [live] (Stash 1959)
In Concert with Roy Eldridge [live] (Bandstand 1959)
Live in Concert (Bandstand 1959)
Standards and Warhorses (Jass 1959)
All Stars (Swingville 1960)
Coleman Hawkins All Stars (Prestige / OJC 1960)
At Ease With Coleman Hawkins (Original Jazz 1960)
Bean Stalkin' (Pablo 1960)
In a Mellow Tone (Prestige / OJC 1960)
Night Hawk (Prestige / OJC 1960)
European Concert [live] (Unique 1960)
The Hawk Relaxes (Original Jazz 1961)
Jam Session in Swingville (Prestige 1961)
Jazz Reunion (Jazz Man 1961)
Things Ain't What They Used to Be (Swingville 1961)
The Hawk Blows at Midnight (Decca 1961)
Good Old Broadway (Moodsville 1962)
On Broadway (Prestige 1962)
Jazz Version of No Strings (Prestige 1962)
No Strings (Mood 1962)
Hawkins! Alive! at the Village Gate (Verve 1962)
Alive! (Verve 1962)
Hawkins! Eldridge! Hodges! Alive at the... (Verve 1962)
Plays Make Someone Happy (Moodsville 1962)
Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (Impulse! 1962)
Desafinado: Bossa Nova and Jazz Samba (GRP / Impulse! 1962)
On the Bean (Continental 1962)
Back in Bean's Bag (Columbia 1962)
Jazz at the Metropole [live] (Philips 1962)
The Hawk and the Hunter (Mira 1963)
Hawk Talk (Fresh Sound 1963)
Today and Now (Impulse! 1963)
Essen Jazz Festival All Stars (Fantasy 1964)
Wrapped Tight (GRP 1965)
Meditations (Mainstream 1965)
Rifftide (Pumpkin 1965)
Coleman Hawkins and the Trumpet Kings (EmArcy 1966)
Supreme (Enja 1966)
Sirius (Pablo 1966)
Hawk and Roy (Phoenix 1974)
Swingville (Fantasy 1991)
Coleman Hawkins in the 50's: Body & Soul... (GRP 1993)
High School Hawk (Jazz Band 1994)
Out of Nowhere (Drive 1994)
At the Opera House (Polygram 1994)
Somebody Loves Me (Four Star 1994)
Coleman Hawkins & Thomas Walker (Black Label 1995)
Solitude (Dove 1995)
Live from the London House (Jasmine 1996)
Swing (Jazztory 1996)
Hawk Takes Flight (Happy Days 1997)
Jamestown, N.Y., 1958 [live] (Uptown 2000)
Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 13:... [live] (TCB 2001)
Jazz After Hours (2001)