A Rifftides reader writes
I just came across Rifftides, as I was searching for Coleman Hawkins’ Centennial CD/DVD package. I was at a loss in identifying some of the players on the DVD, and your post from 2005 helped a great deal. Especially in introducing me to Harry Sheppard and Dickie Thompson, neither of whom I’d known previously. I’m still wondering who the piano, bass and second tenor players are, however. Any help there? Anything would be appreciated.
The pianist is Willie “The Lion” Smith. The bassist is Vinnie Burke. The other tenor saxophonist on “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid” is Lester Young.
Thanks, as well, for your excellent blog; I’m now a reader. I especially liked your pieces on New York in spring and on the Garage (a nice place to play) and Virginia Mayhew. I know her, and agree with your comment on the
jump in her playing.
E. J. Decker
New York, NY
Oh, no, thank YOU. Just for fun, here’s a reprise of that July 7, 2005, Doug’s Pick:
Coleman Hawkins:The Centennial Collection.This two-disc CD/DVD package was part of Bluebird’s observance of RCA Victor’s 100th anniversary. The CD has twenty of the tenor saxophone patriarch’s recordings made over several decades. All of them have been reissued repeatedly. The news here is the DVD showing Hawkins in 1950s television programs with peers like Charlie Shavers, Pee Wee Russell and J.C. Higginbotham, and younger musicians, too; bassist Vinnie Burke and a very good unidentified vibraharpist among them. In fact, none of the musicians is identified, a drastic production failure. Still, the music is terrific. The piece de resistance is a jam session performance in which Hawkins and Lester Young–the most revered tenor men of their era–trade four-bar phrases on “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid.” Seeing and hearing them together is a joy.