483

Sonny Rollins: Plus Four

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Rollins: Plus Four Originally released in 1956 on Prestige, Plus Four has been reissued by Concord Records, which recently acquired the Prestige catalogue. On this session a twenty-something Sonny Rollins uses the other musicians in the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet (of which he was a member) as his sidemen. When you consider the personnel, the tunes, and the impending tragic deaths of Clifford Brown and Richie Powell (both were involved in a fatal car crash just months after this recording was made), the historical significance of this disc is immense. This is hard bop at its finest.

The now classic Rollins waltz "Valse Hot leads off the set with a determined exuberance that seems to flow effortlessly from one solo to another. Rollins' solo is a potent mix of lengthy sixteenth-note runs and shorter motifs that he twists around and inverts in seemingly inexhaustible ways. Brown plows through this session like a high-speed Mack truck on a deadline. His tightly woven lines combine logic, power, grace and ideas. He is especially strong on the two up-tempo selections, "Kiss and Run and "I Feel a Song Comin' On.

The brief rendering of Irving Berlin's "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep features an inspired solo by pianist Richie Powell that is reminiscent of Red Garland from the same era. The tune was originally sung by Bing Crosby in the film White Christmas (1954); Rollins turns it inside and out with humor and the uninhibited inventiveness that has remained his trademark for over fifty years.

Rollins' solo on his own "Pent-Up House foreshadows the direction the saxophonist was heading at this early junction in his career. It was only a couple years later that he would drop out of the music scene for a period of self-imposed introspection.

The music on Plus Four seems timeless. It documents one of the greatest working groups in jazz history—and, in Rollins and Brown, two of the genre's greatest practitioners in their prime.


Track Listing: Valse Hot; Kiss and Run; I Feel a Song Comin On; Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep; Pent-Up House.

Personnel: Sonny Rollins: tenor saxophone; Clifford Brown: trumpet; Richie Powell: piano; George Morrow: bass; Max Roach: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!