By 1984 it was a common complaint that Sonny Rollins's live appearances were much more exciting than his studio recordings. Although none of the latter were throwaways (and virtually all of the Milestone sessions have their moments of interest), few were real gems. Sunny Days, Starry Nights as usual finds the great tenor at his best on the two ballads ("I'm Old Fashioned" and Noel Coward's "I'll See You Again") while the other four originals have been largely forgotten. His backup crew features trombonist Clifton Anderson and keyboardist Mark Soskin.
An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series.
Sonny Rollins mostly sticks to standard ballads on this excellent CD which finds him joined by trombonist Clifton Anderson, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Bob Cranshaw, drummer Jack DeJohnette and, on two selections, a five-piece brass choir arranged by Jimmy Heath. Comfortable and occasionally passionate music by one of the classic tenor-saxophonists.
Official 2016 remastered collection of 5 albums recorded for Prestige, housed in replica card sleeves with full original artwork. Includes 'Worktime', 'With The Modern Jazz Quartet', 'Tenor Madness', 'Moving Out', & 'Saxaphone Colossus'. The quality of the music collected here needs no comment, really. But what I like about this series of box sets is that the original LP covers are faithfully reproduced on the small paper sleeves, front and back, just like the Japanese do it with their ridiculously expensive miniature CD paper sleeves. All relevant discographic data, like musicians, recording dates etc., are listed on the CD labels, which is unique for this kind of box sets and a great service if you ask me.
When it comes to picking material, today's young hard boppers (both instrumentalists and singers) could learn a lot from Sonny Rollins – a tenor titan who has always had a way of surprising us with interesting, unexpected choices. Over the years, he hasn't made the mistake of limiting himself to overdone Gershwin and Cole Porter favorites; Rollins doesn't exclude well-known standards by any means, but he has also made a point of interpreting a lot of material that other hard boppers have ignored (and that has included everything from forgotten show tunes to Stevie Wonder gems).
Ever since Sonny Rollins signed with Milestone in the mid-1970s, critics who prefer his earlier work have complained that Rollins' sidemen are not worthy of him. For this superb effort, detractors have nothing to complain about, for the immortal tenor is joined by either Tommy Flanagan or Stephen Scott on piano, his longtime electric bassist Bob Cranshaw and either Al Foster or Jack DeJohnette on drums.
The timeless Way out West established Sonny Rollins as jazz's top tenor saxophonist (at least until John Coltrane surpassed him the following year). Joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, Rollins is heard at one of his peaks on such pieces as "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)," his own "Way out West," "There Is No Greater Love," and "Come, Gone" (a fast stomp based on "After You've Gone")…
Sonny left the music biz in the late '50s and early '60s, then returned with a triumphant series of LPs. Here are five of 'em: 1962's Our Man in Jazz (with the jaw-dropping epic Oleo ) and What's New? (he teams with Jim Hall on If Ever I Would Leave You and his own Bluesong ), 1963's storied meeting with Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Meets Hawk! (with thrilling excursions through standards like All the Things You Are and Yesterdays ) and 1964's Now's the Time and The Standard Sonny Rollins (both with Herbie Hancock)…
Sonny Rollins must have liked hearing Billy Holiday with two of her absolute classic numbers included and a composition he composed himself which has no familarity with Billy Holiday's classic "Loverman" but the title "Love Man" sandwiched in between the two Billy Holiday numbers does make one think. Anyway recorded in 1973 and this album "Horn Culture" is Sonny's second album after his last absence from the Jazz scene in the late sixties and early seventies doing yoga and the Eastern thing but he sure came back vibrant and as usual he played beautifully with this album being no exception.
The Beacon Theatre in New York holds 2,700 people, and—much like fans claiming to have seen the final game of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field—there may already be 20,000 people who swear they were there for Sonny Rollins' 80th Birthday performance. At 80 years old, Rollins is still a damn good tenor saxophonist, and Roadshows Volume 2 captures terrific performances from three 2010 live dates, with a heavy emphasis on that birthday party and some A-list guests.