337

Sonny Rollins: Road Shows, Vol. 1

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Rollins: Road Shows, Vol. 1 There's a YouTube video where Sonny Rollins' longtime trombonist Clifton Anderson discusses playing with the saxophone colossus. Anderson recalls one night when the members of the band thought they were in a pretty good groove. Then Rollins gazed over at Anderson, with a look that said, "Oh, you guys feel like playing tonight. You wanna play? OK, we're gonna play." Anderson says Rollins then proceeded to "take it up and he took it so far up that he left us like rubble on the stage. Everybody was like in their fifth gear and Sonny, apparently, was just in second gear." Anderson calls it a "mind-boggling experience."

Road Shows, Vol. 1, a live compilation culled from Rollins' private archives and soundboard tapes made by collector Carl Smith, contains many similarly mind-boggling moments. Each of the seven tracks, recorded between 1980 and 2007 with various working groups (featuring stalwarts like bassist Bob Cranshaw, guitarist Bobby Broom and drummer Al Foster, among others), finds Rollins in top form, delivering one stunning performance after another. Remarkably, his playing here shows no sign of a falloff over the years; his improvisations are just as exuberant and athletic as he nears 80 as they were more than two decades earlier.

He solos with exhilarating abandon through at least 35 choruses of the opener "Best Wishes," never repeating himself or revealing the slightest hint of fatigue. The usual Rollins fodder follows—some ancient Tin Pan Alley tunes, a calypso number, plus originals from throughout his more than 50-year career (from the blues-bop workout "Tenor Madness," first recorded with John Coltrane in 1956, to "Blossom," an obscure gem from a 1980 date in Sweden). The album closes with a magnificently restrained rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening," in the estimable company of drummer Roy Haynes (another ageless wonder) and bassist Christian McBride, from last year's acclaimed Carnegie Hall concert, which marked the 50th anniversary of his first appearance there.

Road Shows, Vol. 1 is the live album Sonny Rollins fans have been waiting for—and best of all, more releases from the Rollins archives are to follow.


Track Listing: Best Wishes; More Than You Know; Blossom; Easy Living; Tenor Madness; Nice Lady; Some Enchanted Evening.

Personnel: Sonny Rollins: tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson: trombone; Mark Soskin: piano; Bobby Broom: guitar; Jerome Harris: bass; Al Foster: drums; Bob Cranshaw: bass; Victor Lewis: drums; Kimati Dinizulu: percussion; Stephen Scott: piano; Perry Wilson: drums; Victor See-Yuen: percussion; Steve Jordan: drums; Christian McBride: bass; Roy Haynes: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Doxy Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Allison Philips Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Allison Philips Trio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Summergold Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Summergold Promises
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016

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!