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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins: Way Out West

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In crisp, fly-on-the-wall audiophile quality, Craft Recordings celebrates the 60th anniversary of Sonny Rollins Way Out West with a deluxe packaged 2LP set, featuring four previously unreleased (a sharper toned “There Is No Greater Love" and Take 1 of the title track are fine listens) as well as three alternate takes, new historically rich and contemporaneous liner notes by jazz scholar and radio host Neil Tesser and rare photos from the iconic lens of William Claxton. Though he ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Saxophone Colossus Featuring Sonny Rollins: A Film By Robert Mugge

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Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus MVD Visual 2017 Sonny Rollins' life and career is the stuff of legend, not the least of which intervals include the period he 'retired' to perfect his craft with practice sessions on 'The Bridge' in New York or his numerous influential pieces of recording, including the album after which Robert Mugge named his documentary. And while there's certainly no questioning the logic of the title for that reason alone, the ...

INTERVIEWS

Terri Hinte: Co-Creating the Image of Jazz

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6[This is the second of an All About Jazz series of interviews and articles on “The Many Faces of Jazz Today: Critical Dialogues" in which we explore the current state of jazz around the world with musicians, journalists, and entrepreneurs who give us their own unique perspectives. In the first interview of the series, saxophonist Bobby Zankel provided the perspective of a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959

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The quantity and quality of music released in 1959 have led many to call it a watershed year for modern jazz. Even just cursory research calls up such landmark titles as John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic), Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic), Dave Brubeck's Time Out (Columbia) and Miles Davis's Kind of Blue (Columbia). Recorded live at Radio Station Zurich that March, Sonny Rollins Trio & Horace Silver Quintet: Zurich 1959 hoists another pillar in 1959's monument ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins Trio & Horace Silver Quintet: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959

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To some extent, the concept of glory days equates to fiction based on romanticized truth. When you talk to those who walked the walk at any seemingly important time, you learn that very quickly. Many of them would likely say that there's no time like the present, and the truth is that there's great music and history to be gleaned from any era and area if you know where to look. But then again, you can't argue with the facts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins: Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4

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At this point in his long and storied career, tenor saxman Sonny Rollins is probably incapable of releasing genuinely bad music (which isn't as obvious a statement as it may seem if, for example, you've tried to listen to Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night Sinatra homage). Still, some sets are better than others, and Sonny recorded live onstage, spontaneously captured in the improvisational moment, is about as good as Sonny gets. “Something about the interaction of human being to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins: Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4

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The day may come when the well runs dry, but that day is not upon us. The fourth installment of Sonny Rollins' Road Shows series has arrived, bringing more beauties from the archives to light while bearing out that the genius of the Saxophone Colossus is best demonstrated on the stage. That's where the magic has always happened for him, and that's why these offerings have been so well-received. The first three volumes are already considered to be indispensable items ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Sonny Rollins, Volume Two – 1957

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There are no bad records by Sonny Rollins, but some are better than others. This is one of the better ones. Sonny Rollins Volume Two is, as the name suggests, Rollins' second recording for Blue Note. It's uniformly excellent with a fantastic band, especially the great J.J. Johnson on trombone and two tracks with the utterly unique Thelonious Monk. If only the title were better. That may be a dumb thing to criticize, but ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Sonny Rollins, Volume One – 1956

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It's easy to like Sonny Rollins. The guy is bluesy, edgy and clever. And it almost doesn't matter which period of Rollins' career you choose. It's all pretty terrific. But there's an unexpected down side: Because Rollins has so many fantastic recordings, listening to ones that are merely good can be a little disappointing. That's how I feel about Sonny Rollins Volume One--the first of four recordings that Rollins made for Blue Note in 1956 and ...