With this post, we consider the person who brought the tenor saxophone to the forefront in jazz and arguably the best tenor saxophonist of all time. Coleman Hawkins. For nearly 40 years, Hawkins continued to break new ground with the tenor sax and in jazz in general. His influence is unquestioned.

When reviewing Hawkins’ extensive recording catalog, among the titles that are typically considered as staples are The Genius of Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, and Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins. Great titles all, we explore another Hawkins effort here.

The Village Gate was a legendary nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York. Opened in 1958, it hosted many jazz greats, including Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and yes, Coleman Hawkins. In 1963, Verve Records released Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate. The album highlights sessions recorded by a Hawkins-led quartet on August 13th and 15th, 1962. Joining Hawkins are Tommy Flanagan on piano, Major Holley on bass, and Ed Locke on drums.

The LP of Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate contained four tracks, “All The Things You Are”, “Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho”, “Mack The Knife”, and “Talk of the Town”. Moving to the original CD featured here, two tracks previously unreleased were added — “Bean and the Boys” and “If I Had You”.

Verve first released Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate on CD in 1986. Here we will focus on a Japanese issue from that year. This Japanese CD was released under catalog number 829 260-2. This catalog number was also used in the U.S. and Europe, which makes the Japanese release unusual. Typically, Japanese CD releases have unique catalog numbers, but Polydor in the early days often used the U.S./European catalog number on its Japanese jazz titles. Verve existed under the Polydor umbrella in 1986.

As a Japanese issue, the booklet for Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate has liner notes printed in Japanese at the front and then printed in English at the back. The back insert shows a Japanese retail price of ¥ 3,300, which was in the typical range for a CD in Japan in 1986. Another indicator of a Japanese issue, the disc and inserts refer to “POLYDOR K.K.” The “K.K.” stands for Kabushiki Kaisha, which translates loosely to “stock corporation”.

The Hawkins CD was pressed by JVC, and the matrix code is “J33J-25007-S1E1”. J33J-25007 is the catalog number of another early Japanese issue of the album, typically cited as having been released in 1987.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the Japanese issue of Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate, along with the JVC pressing.

 

The cover for the early Japanese issue of Coleman Hawkins Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate (Verve, catalog number 829 260-2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the early Japanese issue of Coleman Hawkins Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate (Verve, catalog number 829 260-2). As noted, this release contains the four original tracks for this album and two that were previously unreleased. The performers are listed at the top. Note the Japanese text and the price of ¥ 3,300 printed along the bottom.

 

The Japanese JVC pressing of Coleman Hawkins Hawkins! Alive! At The Village Gate (Verve, catalog number 829 260-2). The matrix code is “J33J-25007-S1E1”. J33J-25007 is the catalog number for a Japanese CD release from 1987.

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