In April 1958, Coleman Hawkins recorded Meets the Big Sax Section for Savoy. The session lived up to its billing. Hawkins was teamed with Count Basie's Marshall Royal, Frank Wess, Frank Foster and Charlie Fowlkes. The result, as you can imagine, was heavenly, inserting Hawkins' big bossy tenor into Basie's refined saxes. I posted about this session here.
The date's arrangements were by Billy VerPlanck. Recently, singer Marlene VerPlanck, Billy's widow, sent me a copy of the April 2009 interview that writer Schaen Fox conducted with her late husband for Jersey Jazz. Here's what Billy VerPlanck [pictured] had to say after Fox asked him about the Hawkins session:
"I came in with Coleman, and it was a very interesting thing: When we came in, everybody stood up, and when he sat down, that's when everybody sat down. He was treated like royalty, and it was quite wonderful.
"We were there about six hours, no overdubbing in those days. You read the charts down, played it through a couple of times and got all the solos together and that is the way it went. It turned out great."