Jazz: Farewell to the Hawk

For the guitar, there is Segovia; for the cello, Casals; and for the tenor saxophone, there was Coleman Hawkins. Before him, the instrument was a straw among the winds, used only for nasal accents in the background of jazz bands. "Bean," as Hawkins' friends called him, transformed it into an expressive solo voice that could breathe lyrical long tones on ballads or erupt into flights of dazzling arpeggios. In a sense, it could be said that he created the tenor sax, and players from Ben Webster to Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane have acknowledged their debt to his inspiration...

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