262

Sonny Rollins: Saxohone Colossus

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Rollins: Saxohone Colossus
In 1956, while still a member of the legendary Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, tenor titan Sonny Rollins (b. 1930) cut one of his most definitive albums. Imposingly titled Saxophone Colossus , it very quickly became a jazz classic and remains today one of a handful of absolutely essential jazz albums. As vast as Rollins's talents proved to be — up until this time and in many cases hereafter — this one remains special: for Hannan's stark blue cover art, Rollins's pristine and blustery playing with an utterly perfect quartet featuring the impeccable Tommy Flanagan on piano, the steady Doug Watkins on bass, the debut of Rollin's signature piece, "St. Thomas" and an essentially perfect program of originals ("Strode Rode," "Blue 7"), one standard ("You Don't Know What Love Is") and an in-vogue show tune (Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's "Moritat" from Three Penny Opera ). Rollins, the lone survivor among the leaders featured in Prestige's first batch of 50th anniversary issues (as of this writing in 1999), is simply astounding throughout this excellent music. His thoughts seem to cascade effortlessly from his fingers. Even the air he breathes through his horn seems to be a different air than you and I breathe. He's a magical player. And just when you think he could be any of a number of easily-pegged bar honkers, he adds something - a familiar song, a witty line or just a plainly original thought - that sends the music and the listener some place deeper, some place you may or may not ever know again. Truly, Rollins brings life that is deeply felt and wonderfully joyful to the music he senses in equal parts spiritual and intellectual. Best of all, it's easy to enjoy. Saxophone Colossus makes for essential jazz and remains (nearly half a century later) a premiere example of excellent musicianship.

Personnel

Sonny Rollins: saxophone.

Album information

Title: Saxohone Colossus | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Prestige Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Lost & Found
Lost & Found
Guillermo Bazzola
Read Night Visions
Night Visions
Scott Sawyer
Read The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
Read People Flow
People Flow
Erik Verwey
Read Kites and Strings
Kites and Strings
Ben Rosenblum Nebula Project
Read Borrowed From Children
Borrowed From Children
Paul Flaherty / Mike Roberson / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.