Underrated (non-Coleman Hawkins) tenor sax "Body and Soul"s
by David Tenner
One effect of the greatness of Coleman Hawkins' 1939 recording of "Body and Soul"--and of Hawkins' other versions such as the 1940 version from the Bill Savory collection that was made public last year, or "Rainbow Mist" from 1944 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY00GBAWHmw --is that other tenor men's "Body and Soul"s do not get as much attention as they deserve. Some of them:
(5) Lucky Thompson, 1956 (recorded as "Deep Passion" with Clifton "Skeeter" Best, guitar, and Oscar Pettiford, bass): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReR9vBOooRY Was there ever a musician with a more inappropriate nickname than Eli "Lucky" Thompson? If there were any justice, he would be seen to rank with Hawkins, Young, Webster, and Byas.
(6) Paul Gonsalves, 1960, from John Lewis' "Wonderful World of Jazz": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-mpBlU_lbk Beautiful soft-toned playing from Gonsalves, and Jim Hall and Herb Pomeroy don't play shabbily, either.
I don't say these versions have been totally neglected--Gunther Schuller warmly praises Webster's version in *The Swing Era*--but I do think the tendency to see Hakwins' 1939 version as definitive does lead to other tenorists' versions being somewhat underrated.