Coleman Hawkins The Body and Soul of the Saxophone

Opening with the legendary "Body and Soul," which made the Hawk a pop star, and ending with the brilliant a cappella "Picasso," from 1948, this anthology documents the first three decades of his prime; from the early flowering of swing in the late '20s to the upsurge of bebop. There's not a weak performance here. When Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra tackles "Queer Notions" in 1933, you hear a modern big band that still sounds advanced. Yet it is those cascades of arpeggios in ballads like "It's the Talk of the Town" or "The Day You Came Along" and the confident swagger and swing of his upbeat phrasing in "Hello Lola" and "Jamaica Shout" that confirms his operatic scope. Treat your ears, invest in this glorious retrospective of the Godfather of the tenor sax. I guarantee it will make your listening buds grow. (S.R.I.)