553

Sonny Rollins: Way Out West

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Rollins: Way Out West

Way Out West was Sonny Rollins’ first tenor saxophone-bass-drums recording. He would follow this with the trio recordings A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1999) and Freedom Suite (Riverside/OJC, 1991). Unlike the piano-less quartets of Gerry Mulligan, Rollins did not have a counterpoint foil, as did Mulligan did in Chet Baker and later Bob Brookmeyer. The tenor trio format is full of wide-open spaces. How appropriate that this format would be chosen my Rollins for a recording entitled Way Out West.

Where the recently remastered Tenor Madness clocks in at just over 35 minutes with no alternate takes, Way Out West soars to over 70 minutes with three alternate takes, two of which are twice as long as the released versions. I suspect we can forgive the brevity of Tenor Madness for the presence of Rollins and Coltrane playing the blues, but it is very nice to have an expanded Way Out West. "I’m an Old Cowhand" gets a short and extended treatment, both worthy of inclusion and release. Shelly Manne’s John Ford Western soundtrack drumming is perfect without making the song a parody. Ray Brown supplies the time and foundation over which Rollins freely improvises, taking full advantage of the space afforded him. "The Two versions of "Come, Gone" do the same thing.

Sonny Rollins’ playing is immediately attractive because of his muscular harmonic conservatism. Where he might have never have licked every scalar corner in existence as Coltrane did, he does always perform at the highest level. Way Out West remains a standard for this higher level.

Visit Fantasy Jazz .

Track Listing

I'm an Old Cowhand; Solitude; Come, Gone; Wagon Wheels; There is No Greater Love; Way Out West; Monologue: You Gotta Dig The Lyrics (previously unreleased); I'm an Old Cowhand (Alternate Take); Dialogue: Tilting Come, Gone (previously unreleased); Come Gone (Alternate Take); There Is No Greater Love (alternate, previously unreleased); Way Out West (Take 1, previously unreleased); Way Out West (Alternate Take).

Personnel

Sonny Rollins: Tenor Saxophone; Ray Brown: Bass; Shelly Manne: Drums.

Album information

Title: Way Out West | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Craft Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Sone Ka-la 2: Odyssey
Jacques Schwarz-Bart
Da Fé
Dan Blake
Dream Disobedience
Elisabeth Harnik / Michael Zerang
It's My Turn
The Echo Park Project

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

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