"Hawkins had a consistency that’s only really possible to see in retrospect, since his contemporary popularity ebbed and flowed: This record, 'The Hawk Flies High,' cemented something of a comeback upon its release in 1957, when Hawk was 52. As more and more jazz subgenres emerged, nostalgic aficionados became increasingly aware of and reverent toward the music’s rich history — to which Hawk was, of course, central. The Missouri native is generally credited with establishing the tenor saxophone as a jazz instrument, but he was playing the music when jazz was “jass” alongside blues singers like Ethel Waters, and Mamie and Bessie Smith."