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Hampton Hawes

Hampton Hawes was one of the finest jazz pianists of the 1950s, a fixture on the Los Angeles scene who brought his own interpretations to the dominant Bud Powell style. In the mid- to late '40s, he played with Sonny Criss, Dexter Gordon, and Wardell Gray, among others on Central Avenue. He was with Howard McGhee's band (1950-1951), played with Shorty Rogers and the Lighthouse All-Stars, served in the Army (1952-1954), and then led trios in the L.A. area, recording many albums for Contemporary. Arrested for heroin possession in 1958, Hawes spent five years in prison until he was pardoned by President Kennedy. He led trios for the remainder of his life, using electric piano (which disturbed his longtime fans) for a period in the early to mid-'70s, but returned to acoustic piano before dying from a stroke in 1977. Hampton Hawes' memoirs, Raise Up Off Me (1974), are both frank and memorable, and most of his records (for Xanadu, Prestige, Savoy, Contemporary, Black Lion, and Freedom) are currently available. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

bensongardne r
I feel like you can hear the kindness mentioned by an earlier comment-er in his gentle, deeply reassuring style.
Hamp had such fast hands. A real example of the LA jazz scene at its prime.

Why pandora lists Cannonball Adderly as a similar artist is a mystery.
frankgpotter
Just Great For any Tme!!
I was fortunate to have heard him perform with bassist Carol Kaye in the early 70s, albeit on electric piano. I adore his early Contemporary albums. He's up there with Sonny Clark and
Red Garland as the premier post-Powell players. At age 17 he played with Bird at the Hi-de-Ho in Los Angeles, the gig recorded and preserved by Dean Benedetti!
Beautiful, I had not heard of Mr. Hawes
His duet album with Charlie Haden is one of my favorite albums.
One of The Greatest Keyboard Players, I prefer him even over the great Oscar Peterson!!
kemp.masseng i l l
Hampton Hawes is a brilliant pianist. I actually knew him when he was in the Ft. Worth USPHS prison. He is a very kind and talented person.
Kemp Massengill
Leucadia California
kemp.masseng i l @ m e d n o v u s . c o m

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