(b. 9/9/30 - New York, NY)
|Title: Saxophone Colossus (Remaster)
Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Doug Watkins (bass), Max Roach (drums).
Comments: Sonny Rollins is definitely one of the most important tenor saxophonists in the history of jazz. Along with John Coltrane and Joe Henderson, Rollins' contribution to modern saxophone vocabulary is essential. One of the first post-bop saxophonists, Rollins' big breathy sound and wry linear statements make up his unique vocabulary that can be identified after only a few notes. Every serious saxophone player has studied Sonny extensively - you just can't play jazz saxophone without first going through Sonny Rollins.
|Title: Sonny Side Up
Personnel: Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt (tenor sax), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Ray Bryant (piano), Tommy Bryant (bass), Charlie Persip (drums).
Comments: This CD is filled with sparks, as the two Sonny's square off! The story goes that Dizzy egged each musician on, telling both separately, "Man, Sonny is going to kick your a-- on this recording!" And boy can you hear the battle! Check out the 14 minute version of "The Eternal Triangle" for some serious tenor fireworks... Whew!
|Title: The Bridge
Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Jim Hall (guitar), Bob Cranshaw (bass), Ben Riley (drums).
Comments: From the end of 1959 through 1961, Rollins took some time off from performing to concentrate solely on practicing, or "shedding" in jazz-lingo. The Bridge was his first release after this hiatus, aptly titled after the Brooklyn Bridge, under which he "shedded" each night into the wee hours of the morning. Although not strikingly different from his earlier recordings, there definitely is an added depth to his playing not heard on earlier recordings. In any event, this group more or less introduced the fantastic guitarist, Jim Hall, to the jazz world at large. An important event in an of itself.
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