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Sonny Rollins (OJC: No Problem

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This 1981 session finds tenor sax giant Sonny Rollins breezing through a lively program with special guests Bobby Hutcherson on vibes and Tony Williams on drums. Neither Hutcherson nor Williams were actively leading their own sessions during this period, so it's nice to hear them here with Rollins. However, once the tenor man is done expressing himself, it is guitarist Bobby Broom who most dominates the overall sound (longtime Rollins bassist, Bob Cranshaw, is the third Bob here, heard on electric bass). Surprisingly, Hutcherson solos only briefly and infrequently and he and Williams seem as if they're only there for rhythmic coloration. Highlights include Rollins's typically bouncy title cut, his obligatory Calypso, "Coconut Bread," and a signature Hutcherson piece, "Jo Jo." I could live without Rollin's imaginative take on Dolly Parton's insufferable "Here You Come Again," and the Sadao Watanabe-like jazz pop of Rollins's "Joyous Lake." But, while No Problem is not the finest hour for any of the folks involved, Rollins still sounds strong, light-hearted (as the title implies) and interesting as he explores this rather unremarkable program.

Songs:No Problem; Here You Come Again; Jo Jo; Coconut Bread; Penny Save; Illusions; Joyous Lake.

Players:Sonny Rollins: tenor sax; Bobby Broom: electric guitar; Bobby Hutcherson: vibes; Bob Cranshaw: electric bass; Tony Williams: drums.

Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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