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Hampton Hawes

Biography

President Kennedy reaffirmed his position as our hippest Commander In Chief by personally pardoning Hampton Hawes from a prison term in the early ‘60s. A Bop phenom, Hawes was a mainstay of L.A.’s Central Avenue jazz scene, playing like Bud Powell while still in high school. He quickly became respected as a unique stylist with his rapid-fire, yet fluid, keyboard assaults; by the mid-‘60s, his approach to ballads was just as fresh. Hawes led his own groups (Charles Mingus took orders from him!) and played with Shorty Rogers, Dexter Gordon, and Sonny Rollins, among others.
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