Wikipedia : This day (May 19, 1969), in New York City, New York, died Coleman Hawkins, an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
@allmusic : A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic, Hawkins had a 40-year prime (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor.
@last.fm : Fellow saxophonist Lester Young, known as “Pres”, commented in a 1959 interview with The Jazz Review: “As far as I’m concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I’m the second one.” Miles Davis once said: “When I heard Hawk, I learned to play ballads.”
@Discogs : Also known as Bean or Hawk, Coleman Hawkins started piano lessons when he was five. He switched to the cello at the age of seven and two years later Coleman began to work on the tenor saxophone, turning professional by the age of 12. In August 1923, he made his first recordings with Fletcher Henderson. He played with Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Max Roach, among others.