For the high and mighty hawk, the 1964-1969 years were a mixed bag of peaks of fertile creativity and periods of critically poor health condition, the latter clearly predominating in his last three years, due to alcoholism and a bad (or better, the lack of any) diet.
The Barcelona jazz aficionado from the 60s was extremely blessed to be able to attend two different Coleman Hawkins performances in just three years, though neither of them was musically successful, for two different reasons: battle of egos between Hawkins and Edison in the October 1964 concert and extreme physical weakness in the November 1967 date.
On October 14, 1964, Coleman Hawkins played at the Palacio de la Música Catalana (Barcelona) as part of the Mainstream Jazz Group, one of the ensembles integrated in the European Tour of the Newport Jazz Festival. The rest of the musicians were Harry 'Sweets' Edison (trumpet), Sir Charles Thompson (piano), Jimmy Woode (bass) and Jo Jones (drums). Reportedly, unrest from Hawkins and Edison was obvious during the concert, and every time Edison started a solo, Hawkins went backstage to handle his bottle of cognac. Jo Jones spent half the concert having murderous looks at both hornmen and the other half trying to keep the music alive. Albert Mallofré's review for the weekly magazine Destino highlighted Edison's brilliant playing and Hawkins' bad shape and pointed out that the winner was clearly Jo Jones. Reportedly the concert ended with a strong ovation that turned into annoyance and deception when Hawkins refused to play an encore.
On November 11, 1967, Coleman Hawkins played again at the Palacio de la Música, this time as part of the II Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona. In late 1967, after his serious health issues from several months before (reaching its worst at the Oakland concert on June 30 after which he was hospitalized in Los Angeles the next day), Hawkins managed to make a European Tour, promoted by Norman Granz. The first round of dates was a series of concerts with the Oscar Peterson Trio (Sam Jones on bass and Bobby Durham on drums). According to his biographer John Chilton "Hawk was not in a robust mood for any of the shows, but he was generally in command of his saxophone. When he couldn't get what he termed 'the right kind of food' he went without, and inevitably this produced some uneven performances". This november 11 concert was one of them, and Hawkins was booed by a number of people in the audience. See Alberto Mallofré's review for La Vanguardia for more details.
Sad but true, the Hawk didn't fly high this time.