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|Birth name||Hampton Barnett Hawes, Jr.|
November 13, 1928|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||May 22, 1977
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, soul jazz, jazz-funk|
|Labels||Contemporary, Discovery, Fantasy|
|Associated acts||Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Jim Hall, Barney Kessell, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers|
Hampton Barnett Hawes, Jr. (November 13, 1928 – May 22, 1977) was an American jazz pianist. He was the author of the memoir Raise Up Off Me, which won the Deems-Taylor Award for music writing in 1975.
Hampton Hawes was born on November 13, 1928, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Hampton Hawes, Sr., was minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. His mother, the former Gertrude Holman, was Westminster's church pianist. Hawes' first experience with the piano was as a toddler sitting on his mother's lap while she practiced. He was reportedly able to pick out fairly complex tunes by the age of three.
Later life and career
Entirely self-taught, Hawes by his teens was playing with the leading jazz musicians on the West Coast, including Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, and Teddy Edwards. His second professional job, at 19, was playing for eight months with the Howard McGhee Quintet at the Hi De Ho Club, in a group that included Charlie Parker.
After serving in the U.S. army in Japan from 1952 to 1954, Hawes formed his own trio, with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson. The three-record Trio sessions made by this group in 1955 on Contemporary Records were considered some of the finest records to come out of the West Coast at the time. The next year, Hawes added guitarist Jim Hall for the All Night Sessions – three records made during a non-stop recording session at the Contemporary Studios in Los Angeles.
After a six-month national tour in 1956, Hawes won the "New Star of the Year" award in Down Beat magazine, and "Arrival of the Year" in Metronome. The following year, he recorded in New York City with Charles Mingus on the album Mingus Three (Jubilee, 1957).
Struggling for many years with heroin addiction, in 1958 Hawes became the target of a federal undercover operation in Los Angeles. Investigators believed that he would inform on suppliers rather than risk ruining a successful music career. Hawes was arrested on heroin charges on his 30th birthday but refused to cooperate and was sentenced to ten years in a federal prison hospital, which was twice the mandatory minimum. In the intervening weeks between his trial and sentencing, Hawes recorded an album of spirituals and gospel songs, The Sermon.
In 1961, after serving three years at Fort Worth Federal Medical Facility in Texas, Hawes was watching President Kennedy's inaugural speech on television, when he became convinced that Kennedy would pardon him. Kennedy granted Hawes Executive Clemency in 1963, the 42nd of only 43 such pardons given in the final year of Kennedy's presidency.
After being released from prison, Hawes resumed playing and recording. During a world tour in 1967–68, he was startled to discover that he had become a legend among jazz listeners overseas. During a ten-month tour of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Hawes recorded nine albums, played sold out shows and concert halls in ten countries, and was covered widely in the press, including appearances on European television and radio.
Raise Up Off Me, Hawes' autobiography, written with Don Asher and published in 1974, shed light on his heroin addiction, the bebop movement, and his friendships with some of the leading jazz musicians of his time. It was the first book about the bebop era written by a musician, and won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for music writing in 1975. Critic Gary Giddins, who wrote the book's introduction, called Raise Up Off Me "a major contribution to the literature of jazz." The Penguin Guide to Jazz cites it as "one of the most moving memoirs ever written by a musician, and a classic of jazz writing."
In the 1970s, Hawes experimented with electronic music (Fender-Rhodes made a special instrument for him), although eventually he returned to playing the acoustic piano.
Hampton Hawes died of a brain hemorrhage in 1977 at the age of 48. He was buried next to his father, Hampton Hawes, Sr., who had died five months earlier. In 2004, the City Council of Los Angeles passed a resolution declaring November 13 "Hampton Hawes Day".
Style and influence
Hawes influenced a great number of prominent pianists, including André Previn, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, Claude Williamson, Pete Jolly, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Hawes' own influences came from a number of sources, including the gospel music and spirituals he heard in his father's church as a child, and the boogie-woogie piano of Earl Hines. Hawes also learned much from pianists Bud Powell and Nat King Cole, among others. By Hawes' own account, however, his principal source of influence was his friend Charlie Parker.
- The Hampton Hawes Memorial Album (Xanadu) 1952–1956
- Hampton Hawes Trio (Contemporary, 1955)
- This Is Hampton Hawes (Contemporary, 1956)
- Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes (Contemporary, 1956)
- All Night Session! Vol. 1 (Contemporary, 1956 )
- All Night Session! Vol. 2 (Contemporary, 1956 )
- All Night Session! Vol. 3 (Contemporary, 1956 )
- Curtis Fuller and Hampton Hawes with French Horns (Status, 1957)
- Four! (Contemporary, 1958)
- Bird Song (Contemporary, 1956–58 )
- For Real! (Contemporary, 1958 )
- The Sermon (Contemporary, 1958 )
- The Green Leaves of Summer (Contemporary, 1965)
- Here and Now (Contemporary, 1966)
- The Seance (Contemporary, 1966 )
- I'm All Smiles (Contemporary, 1966 )
- Hamp's Piano (SABA, 1967) - also released as Hampton Hawes in Europe (Prestige)
- Key for Two (BYG Actuel, 1968 ) with Martial Solal
- Blues for Bud (Black Lion, 1968 )
- Spanish Steps (Black Lion, 1968 )
- The Challenge (Victor, 1968)
- Jam Session (Columbia, 1968)
- This Guy's in Love with You (Freedom, 1971 ) - also released as Live at the Montmartre (Freedom)
- A Little Copenhagen Night Music (Freedom, 1971 )
- Universe (Prestige, 1972)
- Blues for Walls (Prestige, 1973)
- Live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago Volume One (Enja, 1973 ) with Cecil McBee and Roy Haynes
- Live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago Volume Two (Enja, 1973 ) with Cecil McBee and Roy Haynes
- Playin' in the Yard (Prestige, 1973)
- Northern Windows (Prestige, 1974)
- Recorded Live at the Great American Music Hall (Concord Jazz, 1975 )
- As Long as There's Music (Artists House, 1976 ) with Charlie Haden
- Something Special (Contemporary, 1976 )
- Hampton Hawes at the Piano (Contemporary, 1976 )
- Hampton Hawes Early Years Trio and Quartet Sessions 1951–56 (Fresh Sound)
- Shorty Rogers – Modern Sounds (Capitol, 1951)
- Art Pepper – The Early Show (Xanadu, 1952)
- Shorty Rogers – Shorty Rogers and His Giants (RCA Victor, 1953)
- Art Pepper – Surf Ride (Savoy, 1952–1954 )
- Bud Shank – Bud Shank – Shorty Rogers – Bill Perkins (Pacific Jazz, 1955)
- Red Mitchell – Red Mitchell (Bethlehem, 1955)
- Barney Kessel – Kessel Plays Standards (Contemporary, 1955)
- Charles Mingus – Mingus Three (Jubilee, 1957)
- Prestige All Stars – Baritones and French Horns (Prestige) 1957
- Barney Kessel – Let's Cook! (Contemporary, 1957 )
- Sonny Rollins – Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders (Contemporary; Fantasy, 1958)
- Sonny Criss – I'll Catch the Sun! (Prestige, 1969)
- Sonny Stitt – So Doggone Good (Prestige, 1972)
- Gene Ammons – Gene Ammons and Friends at Montreux (Prestige, 1973)
- Blue Mitchell – Stratosonic Nuances (RCA, 1975)
- Art Pepper – Living Legend (Contemporary, 1976)
- Art Farmer – On the Road (Contemporary, 1976)
- Raise Up Off Me: A Portrait of Hampton Hawes by Hampton Hawes, Don Asher, and Gary Giddins
- Hampton Hawes: A Discography by Roger Hunter & Mike Davis. 127pp. Manana Publications, Manchester, England. 1986.
- Yanow, Scott. "Hampton Hawes | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
- "California Birth Index, 1905-1995 [database on-line]". United States: The Generations Network. 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Mike Davis (co-author)