Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell
Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell
Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell
Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell
Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell
Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell

Four! - Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell

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Drums – Shelly Manne [click here to see more vinyl featuring Shelly Manne]

Guitar – Barney Kessel

Piano - Hampton Hawes

Bass – Red Mitchell

Written by Charlie Parker (A1), Harry Warren (A2), Mack Gordon (A2), Red Mitchell (A3), Victor Young (B1), Will Harris (B1), Hampton Hawes (B2), Johnny Burke (B3), Jimmy Van Heusen (B3), Leo Robin (B4), Lewis E. Gensler (B4)

1 LP, gatefold old-style tip-on jackets

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Speed : 33RPM

Size : 12”



Record Press : Quality Record Pressings

Label : Acoustic Sounds Series

Original Label : Contemporary Records

Recorded January 27, 1958 at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles

Engineered by Roy DuNann

Produced by Lester Koenig

Remastered by Bernie Grundman

Originally released in January 1958

Reissued in 2022


Side A:

  1. Yardbird Suite
  2. There Will Never Be Another You
  3. Bow Jest

Side B:

  1. Sweet Sue
  2. Up Blues
  3. Like Someone in Love
  4. Love Is Just Around the Corner

        Reviews :

        “Pianist Hampton Hawes' 1950s recordings for the Contemporary label are at such a high level that they could all be given five stars. This outing with bassist Red Mitchell, drummer Shelly Manne, and guitarist Barney Kessel (who is a slight wild card) is also quite successful. Two previously unreleased numbers ("Thou Swell" and "The Awful Truth") have been added to the CD reissue. Highlights of the exciting bop date include "Yardbird Suite," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "Love Is Just Around the Corner."” AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

        "Considering the significant number of iconic jazz pianists, it is possible to overlook a talent like Hampton Hawes. A self-taught musician, the Los Angeles native first appeared with artists like Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon and Shorty Rogers. He was a pioneer in the West Coast scene recording trio albums for Contemporary Records in the mid 1950’s. He appeared on Mingus Three, further enhancing his credentials. Despite a serious addiction, Hawes recorded for 20 years in various formats including trios, quartets, septets and solo. Perhaps one of his most significant accomplishments is his award-winning autobiography, Raise Up Off Me which chronicled his life in jazz and the strain of heroin addiction. Hawes’ piano style was unique incorporating both locked-hand and double-note blues into his playing.

        Craft Recordings has released a re-mastered 180-gram vinyl of the 1958 album, Hampton Hawes: Four! He is joined by a stellar quartet that includes Barney Kessel (guitar), Shelly Manne (drums) and Red Mitchell (double bass). Hawes displays his skilled interpretation of jazz with roots in gospel and blues. Side 1 opens with a swinging cover of Charlie Parker’s bebop masterpiece, “Yardbird Suite”. With Manne and Mitchell establishing a lockdown tempo, Hawes glides through his solo with rapid flourishes and graceful elegance. Kessel is equally dynamic matching the bluesy feel and crisp notation. Mitchell also contributes a rhythmic solo and when the group reunites, the chemistry is palpable. The lively tempo carries over to “There Will Never Be Another You”. This is another pop standard that has become a staple of jazz with versions by Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Lester Young and Oscar Peterson. Hawes  soars on piano before turning it over to Kessel and then Mitchell. Manne’s deft timekeeping keeps the quartet grounded. A spirited exchange between piano and guitar steals the show. In a change of pace, double bassist Mitchell takes the initial lead on “Bow Jest”. Hawes with great phrasing follows this and the medium-swing arrangement resonates with elasticity and style. Kessel is especially soulful with emotive articulation.

        Album Cover for Hampton Hawes Four VinylSide 2 is also buoyant with syncopated tempo shifts on “Sweet Sue”. Hawes’ first solo is hard-driving and Manne’s cymbal work is revelatory. This is unbridled jazzy swing and Kessel is scintillating, as he and Hawes trade licks with finesse. Hawes’ playing is deeply rooted in blues. This predilection is on full display on “Up Blues”. Within this idiomatic structure, there is a definitive translation of this hybrid genre, but with improvisational gravitas. Simply put, the quartet comes alive on this Hawes original. There is a great double lead on piano and guitar. Hawes articulates his ability to distill melodic essence on the whimsical “Like Someone In Love”. It has a late-night solitude and the slowed-down performance is appealing. The finale is a finger-snapping cool jazz cover of “Love Is Around The Corner”. It contains some of Hawes’ most adroit soloing and Kessel’s sinewy run is perceptive and moving.

        This QRP re-mastered vinyl is pristine with limited surface noise and virtually no hisses or pops.  Kudos to Craft Recordings for re-introducing a brilliant pianist.  Four! Hampton Hawes!!! should be a part of any jazz vinyl library.” Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition, August 2022

        Ratings :

        AllMusic : 5 / 5 ; Discogs : 4,37 / 5 ; Audiophile Audition : 4.5 / 5

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