SKF NOTE: This week I bought the MP3 version of Coleman Hawkins Today and Now album I first bought in the early 1970s as a vinyl LP cut-out for about 79-cents. Working at the time as a store salesman in Sam Goody’s record department, a couple of times, Rose, my co-worker in charge of music played on the store PA system, played Today and Now. Always, that music caught the ear of a customer or two who then asked Rose, “What’s that music you’re playing?” And we sold a few Today and Now albums.
I’ve thought about re-buying this album a long time, always buying albums I hadn’t heard instead.
How many times did I listen to – even play along with – drummer Eddie Locke on this record? Along with Connie Kay on Paul Desmond’s Easy Living, and J.C. Heard on John Wright‘s Nice ‘N’ Tasty, and a few others — Locke on this album is the consummate tasteful drummer. No flash, no whiz-bang. But it’s hard to find a spot on this album where a busier Locke wouldn’t be overplaying.
This group — Tommy Flanagan on piano, Major Holley on bass, Eddie Locke on drums — was Coleman Hawkins‘s working quartet, and you can hear that on this album. There’s serious playing throughout, mixed with humor, reflection, and always swinging. The Love Song from ‘Apache’ may be my favorite track from this album, which is not to suggest the other tracks are less than excellent.