Saxophonist of American jazz, born in Missouri in 1904. Also known as The Hawk, has been one of the saxophonists most influential in the history of jazz. He/She was the son of an organist, and learned to play the piano and the cello before taking the saxophone at the age of nine. Later he/she studied harmony and composition, and began to act professionally from the year 1921 in the band of Mamie Smith.
From that date, and until 1934, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra settled in New York, where he/she was part of the first big jazz band. There he/she met another monster of jazz, Louis Armstrong, and both became the first two figures of this style began to Excel in solo. From 1934, he/she left the Henderson band and went to Europe; He/She worked in the United Kingdom, Holland, etc., with characters such as Django Reinhardt and Benny Carter. He/She returned to the United States in 1939; He/She settled in New York and joined the nascent bebop movement. At that time he/she played with people like Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, and was an outstanding example and a clear influence for countless new jazzmen.
Already during the 1950s and 1960s, acted throughout the world jazz clubs, and well recorded also countless sessions, as soloist, accompanied by various bands; These sessions were collected in various albums, such as Hawk Returns (1955), The High And Mighty Hawk (1957) or Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (1962). He/She continued acting and recording until the death surprised him in the city of New York in 1969.