|Saxophone Colossus & Work Time on one CD!
2 classic Prestige sides from Sonny Rollins -- back to back on one CD! First up is Saxophone Colossus, quite possibly THE greatest Sonny Rollins album of the early years -- or at least the one that has received the most accolades over the years! The record is a brilliant batch of quartet tracks that reinvents bop through Sonny's complicated, yet seemingly automatic solos -- an excellent showcase for his razor-sharp talents for improvisation and invention, played with effortless ease, yet still one of the great bar-setting performances of 50s jazz. The group features Tommy Flanagan, Max Roach, and Doug Watkins -- and tunes include an original reading of the perennial Rollins' standard "St Thomas", plus a great version of "Moritat (Mack The Knife)", and the cuts "Strode Rode" and "Blue 7". Next up is the equally great Worktime -- a record that perfectly illustrates why Rollins was one of the greatest players on his horn for many decades running! There's a depth of tone on the record that rivals Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young -- but a quickness of pace and imagination that shows a clear influence from Charlie Parker, and a deftness that few were bringing to the tenor at the time. The rhythm section here is super tight -- and features Ray Bryant on piano, George Morrow on bass, and Max Roach on drums -- all supporting Rollins' bold lead with lines that bristle with electricity, but still often fall back to let the sound of the tenor envelop the whole group. Tracks are longish, and titles include "Raincheck", "There Are Such Things", "Paradox", and "It's All Right With Me".
1-5: Saxophone Colossus
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax); Tommy Flanagan (piano); Doug Watkins (bass); Max Roach (drums). Hackensack, NJ, June 22, 1955.
6-10: Work Time
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax); Ray Bryant (piano); George Morrow (bass); Max Roach (drums). Hackensack, NJ, December 2, 1955.