The Song Of The Hawk

by Nick Dellow


I doubt that removing Hawkins' version from the equation would have led to a rise in the estimation of the importance of Chu Berry's version, or greater attention being paid to it - superb though it is, it fits the patterns of the time and doesn't explore the chordal possibilities of the number in the innovative way Hawkins' version does. As John Chilton says in his biography "The Song Of The Hawk", Hawkins' recording was adored by all of the musicians reaching out for new jazz frontiers. Interestingly, some time after the recording was released, Hawkins commented that "You know when the record first came out, everybody including Chu Berry said I was playing wrong notes on it".

The later recordings cited were, to varying degrees, following in the wake of Hawkins' seminal recording and so must forever bop (sic) up and down behind it, even while creating their own ripples. I don't think this necessarily means they have been neglected or are "underrated". Having said that, it is good to see them being given prominence here, and linking them together chronologically like this helps to put things in perspective.



Posted on Oct 31, 2017, 2:05 AM

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