For anyone seeking an introduction to Rollins the ten tracks provide substantial basis for why he is held in such high regard by jazz fans, fellow musicians, and some jazz critics.
This disc contains an all-star cast headed up by Thelonious Monk (piano) and includes some collaborative efforts with Sonny Rollins (tenor sax) that go beyond simply inspired and into a realm of musical telepathy. The five tunes included on Work are derived from three separate sessions held between November of 1953 and September of the following year. As is often the case, this likewise means that there are three distinct groups of musicians featured.
Dizzy Gillespie brings together tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins for four extended cuts, and in the process comes up with one of the most exciting "jam session" records in the jazz catalog. While the rhythm section of pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant, and drummer Charlie Persip provides solid rhythmic support, Stitt and Rollins get down to business trading fours and reeling off solo fireworks. Apparently, Gillespie had stoked the competitive fires before the session with phone calls and some gossip, the fallout of which becomes palpable as the album progresses.
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).