The local Charlin Jazz Society's tribute to Coleman Hawkins Saturday night at the Ethical Society produced some powerful sounds that did credit to the musicians involved but bore only minimal relationship to the musical ethos of the late tenor saxophonist. Concentrating on numbers Hawkins recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins, whose work Hawkins admired and assimilated, the program gave short shrift to this giant's major contributions prior to the mid'40s. Missing entirely were references to his robust and mellow tone, his definitive grasp of the ballad form and the over-the-falls force of his mainstream swing. The musicians on the bandstand came from a different Coleman: Ornette not Hawkins.
It must be said that leader Talib Qadir's impressionistic a capella "Body and Soul" on alto was an extravaganza of free association. On the other hand, his suite in memory of "The Hawk" was prolix and pretentious, 75 minutes of tedium and long-winded solos. Hawkins would have winced at the players' Traneish abandon, for he neither understood nor endorsed the directions jazz was taking in the '60s. Qadir also played soprano and flute, Fred Foss was on tenor and flute, Hotep Cecil Bana at the piano, Andy McCloud on bass and Naser Abadey at the drums.