The company he kept increases the pleasure and surprise of nearly an hour of previously unissued music by Hampton Hawes. These trios may not have quite the magnetic cogency of Hawes’ working group with Red Mitchell and Chuck Thompson, but there is more than enough brilliance here to satisfy listeners who recognize Hawes as one of the finest of the pianists who grew out of Bud Powell. His bassists, Paul Chambers in a 1956 session and Scott LaFaro in 1958, were to profoundly influence the way in which jazz players use the instrument. Drummers Larance Marable and Frank Butler were exemplars of the elusive art of swinging hard softly.
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