Indiana – 1958

Five Great Tenors

A hot jam session featuring tenors Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, Barney Wilen and Guy Lafitte.

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In the 1950s at jazz festivals, Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts, and late night sets at clubs, jam sessions were quite common.

With the large number of brilliant soloists during the era, many unique sessions took place that matched together top players from different generations.

On July 13, 1958 at the Antibes Jazz Festival, five superb tenor-saxophonists had the chance to solo on “Indiana,” playing a melodic line originally written by Coleman Hawkins.

Stan Getz, who rightfully earned the title of “The Sound” due to his cool and relaxed tone, sets the stage with his opening solo.

Getz, who was living in Europe at the time, is followed by Guy Lafitte and Barney Wilen, two very good French tenor-saxophonists.

Don Byas, who had permanently moved to Europe, plays the most dazzling of the tenor solos.

Finally Coleman Hawkins, the only one of the saxophonists who was living in the U.S. at the time (although he had spent much of the 1930s in Europe), and the earliest significant tenor-saxophonist, drives “Indiana” to its conclusion.

-Scott Yanow


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