Body and Soul
Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra
Upon his return to the United States, Coleman Hawkins recorded this two chorus performance of the pop standard “Body and Soul”, on October 11, 1939.
In late 1934, Coleman Hawkins had accepted an invitation to play with Jack Hylton’s band in London after which he toured Europe as a soloist until 1939. It was during this period (in 1937) that he worked with Django Reinhardt and Benny Carter in Paris.
This tune, which was recorded as an after thought at the session, would become a landmark recording of the Swing Era. This is due to the fact that Hawkins ignores the melody for much of the tune. It was and is held in high regard for its exploration of harmonic structure, considered by many to be the next evolutionary step in jazz recording, picking up from where Louis Armstrong’s 1928 recording of “West End Blues” leaves off.