TV concert in France recorded in 1974.
Hampton Hawes – piano
Henry Franklin – bass
Mike Carvin – drums
WHEN I lived in New York during the early 1960s, John F. Kennedy was a hero among the downtown art crowd — not because of any legislative or foreign policy achievement, but because he pardoned the jazz pianist Hampton Hawes.
Hawes was a bebop pianist with a right-hand technique so brilliant that he was admired by none other than Art Tatum, widely considered the greatest jazz pianist ever. Hawes had been sentenced to 10 years in a Fort Worth prison for buying drugs from an undercover agent.
“Just after my third Christmas I was watching John Kennedy accept the presidency on the Washington steps,” Hawes wrote later. “Something about him, the voice, the eyes, the way he stood bright and coatless and proud in that cold air … I thought, that’s the right cat; looks like he got some soul and might listen.” He applied for a pardon, and received one from the president on Aug. 16, 1963. – Ishmael Reed.