The cover art for the Moodsville series makes it clear what they're selling: the mood. But the musicians don't go into the studio to make mood music, and with Coleman Hawkins, you know you're getting a lot more.
And that's not to put down mood music. Music as background is sometimes unfairly derided. It's part of our lives when we don't necessarily want it to be, in elevators or supermarkets or when we're on hold. But it's the background to our lives when we choose it, to read, to work out or make love, to paint or sculpt or clean out the garage. But that background has to be foregroundable. It has to be music that you can stop sculpting for a few minutes, wipe your brow, take a breath, and shift your attention to what you're listening to. It needs to be something good, something that's every bit as challenging and absorbing as it is relaxing and soothing.
Hawkins fits all of those requirements. So does Tommy Flanagan, who is a very good match for Hawkins.
The album is called At Ease With Coleman Hawkins. Esmond Edwards produced.