This website was created to contain the discography for Coleman Hawkins – the father of Jazz saxophone.
The starting point for most of the information on this site is John Chilton’s “The Song of the Hawk” – a magnificent biography of Coleman Hawkins. Reading it, I felt the need for a comprehensive discography to set in context the events of his life and recordings. I have collected a great deal of information on sessions, songs, personnel and record issues and entered it into the discography database.
He had an active recording career from 1922 to 1968. I have identified 337 Sessions, resulting in 1453 tracks of 986 tunes! The 538 issues I have identified include original 78’s and LP’s. Much of the material was issued originally on 78’s and LP’s with later reissues on many CD’s – too many compilations and re-issues to keep up with.
I have tried to capture as much as I can but recognise that I have probably missed quite a lot. Please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions – I will gladly correct them.
The database was created using BRIAN – a discography tool created by Steve Albin. I have found this very easy to use and intuitive. Steve is very responsive to requests for help and new features. I can highly recommend BRIAN to anyone setting out on producing a discography.
An essential reference source has been the Mosaic box set “Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947”. This has a great wealth of discographic information as well as the historic tracks. A must for real fans of the Hawk. https://jazzhistoryonline.com/coleman-hawkins-mosaic/
More of the early years are covered in the Fletcher Henderson Classics set of 9 volumes. The reference https://www.allmusic.com/album/1924-vol-1-mw0000059877 goes to Volume 1 but the other 8 are easy to find.
Acknowledgements also to Papa Becker whose website https://www.papabecker.com/Coleman%20Hawkins%201926%20-%201963.htm is very much complementary to this. He has also posted onto Utube many tracks from his collection. The tunes referenced in the “Biography” section of this website click through to his postings.
A further source of information for Hawk’s early career is the DAHR (Directory of American Historic Recordings). This is searched by matrix number to give a full page of data on each track.
A particularly detailed and thorough reference is the “Solography” by Jan Evensmo and James Accardi in four volumes: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 and Part 4. An amazing work of thorough, accurate information which involved listening to all the tracks to register the solos.
Absolutely invaluable help and encouragement from the “jazz research group” with deep knowledge and interesting stories. I have tried to include name checks for them all below.
Special thanks to Noal Cohen for his thoughtful and generous response to my philosophical question “What is a discography for?” and hence “What do you include and exclude”.
Many thanks for the valuable feed back which I have used to fix errors and omissions to Chris Biscoe, Iain Forbes, Mark Ladenson, Roy MacIver, Marcello Piras, Jeroen de Valk, Jim Gallert, Antony Barnett, Agustin Perez, James Accardi, Michael Fizgerald, Michael Ruppli, Fernando O. de Urbino, Ken MacIntire, Noal Cohen, Paul Bertea, Peter Taylor, Pete Souders, John Voaden and Dan Morgenstern.