Trying To Get To You

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Autumn In New York Means The Hawk


I love the autumn in New York City. The weather is often wonderful; cool and clear - and on the right day, you can almost smell the crispness in the air. Autumn to me feels like the beginning of something; there's a new sense of romance and possibility in the air. (And the ladies break out their knee high boots, a great source of joy for me.)

I have come to associate this time of year with the music of Coleman Hawkins, legendary jazz saxophonist extraordinairre. I first heard him one rainy autumn night in November of 2000, laying in bed with my girlfriend, listening to WBGO, the jazz station based I believe in Newark. At that point, I was just starting to develop a small interest in jazz, and the songs I heard that night blew me away. "Who IS this," I kept wondering. Finally, the DJ explained that we were listening to the Hawk, the great Coleman Hawkins, the man who made the tenor saxophone a dominant instrument in jazz. I went out the next day and bought a box set. I've gone back to his music over and over again ever since, and get something new out of it each time I listen.

I leave you with a song recorded in 1944, "How Deep Is The Ocean." It is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, filled with wonder and romance. I cannot recommend strongly enough his body of work, especially in the 1940's.

mp3: "How Deep Is The Ocean"

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