Hampton Hawes Day
November 13, 1928 – May 22, 1977
A tribute to the L.A.-based pianist
Pianist Hampton Hawes was born on November 13, 1928 in Los Angeles, California.
His mother was a church pianist; Hawes began playing piano when he was three, being mostly self-taught.
Hawes was part of the West Coast jazz scene starting with an eight-month stint with the Howard McGhee Quintet in 1947-48; part of the time Charlie Parker was in the group.
Hawes freelanced, served in the Army during 1952-54, and then had his own trio with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson.
The bop-oriented pianist, who was influenced early on by Bud Powell, recorded regularly for the Contemporary label and had a stint with Charles Mingus.
Pardoned by President Kennedy in 1963, Hawes resumed his career, recorded prolifically, he doubled on electric piano for a time in the 1970s, and wrote his highly rated memoirs Raise Up Off Me.
Hampton Hawes passed away when he was just 48.
This film clip features Hawes in a quartet with drummer Shelly Manne, bassist Ray Brown and tenor-saxophonist Bob Cooper at Shelly’s Manne-Hole in 1970 performing a blues, “Stella By Starlight” and “Milestones.”