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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Jazzwise Five-star review
Way Out West is a jazz essential, certainly as indispensable as its cover created by William Claxton. For Sonny Rollins, the album is a conglomerate of firsts. Recorded on March 7, 1957 in Los Angeles, the album is the first collaboration of Rollins with two other musical giants: Ray Brown on the bass and Shelly Manne on drums. Also for the first time, Rollins has not invited a piano player to his band and has begun exploring new, powerful solos with a simple rhythm section. His tenor saxophone’s sound is amazing and Brown and Manne are hardly reduced to simple stooges. The trio is working as one, subtle in its conversations and improvisations and powerful when the rhythms get tougher. When Way Out West came out a few years before the launching of Coltrane’s revolution, Sonny Rollins was the undisputed god of the sax kingdom.
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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Jazzwise Five-star review
Way Out West is a jazz essential, certainly as indispensable as its cover created by William Claxton. For Sonny Rollins, the album is a conglomerate of firsts. Recorded on March 7, 1957 in Los Angeles, the album is the first collaboration of Rollins with two other musical giants: Ray Brown on the bass and Shelly Manne on drums. Also for the first time, Rollins has not invited a piano player to his band and has begun exploring new, powerful solos with a simple rhythm section. His tenor saxophone’s sound is amazing and Brown and Manne are hardly reduced to simple stooges. The trio is working as one, subtle in its conversations and improvisations and powerful when the rhythms get tougher. When Way Out West came out a few years before the launching of Coltrane’s revolution, Sonny Rollins was the undisputed god of the sax kingdom.
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Prestige

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | RCA Bluebird

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins' first recording after ending a surprising three-year retirement found the great saxophonist sounding very similar to how he had played in 1959, although he would soon start investigating freer forms. In a pianoless quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Ben Riley, Rollins explores four standards (including "Without a Song" and "God Bless the Child") plus two fiery originals, highlighted by the title cut. The interplay between Rollins and Hall is consistently impressive, making this set a near-classic and a very successful comeback. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Riverside

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Max Roach on drums, Oscar Pettiford on the double bass and no pianist, like the year before in Way Out West: Sonny Rollins once again blows the wind of rebellion in this masterpiece recorded on February 11th and March 7th, 1958. From the start, the most popular tenor of that time lays down a theme of over 19 minutes: his album’s title, Freedom Suite! What a freedom suite indeed! Changing rhythms, unexpected escapades, freedom of tone and recurring themes never prevent the three men from conversing intensely. The listener must surrender himself to these high-flying exchanges, rather unprecedented at that time, let themselves be carried by this lava flow that is indeed extreme (never free), but never switches off from its melodic framework, or more precisely from its narration. Freedom Suite’s other great strength is to be the album of a true trio, rather than Rollins’ whim. Both Roach and Pettiford unfold stunning rhythm designs, beefing up the album’s inventiveness. With a record of this magnitude, Sonny Rollins shakes up the limits of jazz and cries out against segregation in late-50s America. He explains it in the sleeve’s notes: “America is deeply rooted in black culture. Its colloquialisms. Its humour. Its music. How ironic that Black people, who more than any other, claim America’s culture as their own, are in fact persecuted and repressed. That black people, who have exemplified humanity in their very existence, are being rewarded with inhumanity." © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | Verve Reissues

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Prestige

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Way Out West is a jazz essential, certainly as indispensable as its cover created by William Claxton. For Sonny Rollins, the album is a conglomerate of firsts. Recorded on March 7, 1957 in Los Angeles, the album is the first collaboration of Rollins with two other musical giants: Ray Brown on the bass and Shelly Manne on drums. Also for the first time, Rollins has not invited a piano player to his band and has begun exploring new, powerful solos with a simple rhythm section. His tenor saxophone’s sound is amazing and Brown and Manne are hardly reduced to simple stooges. The trio is working as one, subtle in its conversations and improvisations and powerful when the rhythms get tougher. When Way Out West came out a few years before the launching of Coltrane’s revolution, Sonny Rollins was the undisputed god of the sax kingdom.
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released May 2, 2014 | Okeh

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Milestone

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
By February of 1958, when Sonny Rollins recorded Freedom Suite, his political consciousness had risen to match the poetic scope of his music. In addressing his place as a creative artist and an African-American, Rollins recognized that both aspects of his being existed under second-class circumstances, and that it was time for this country to review these inequities. In recording with bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach, Rollins aligned himself with the modern jazz innovators who best exemplified his righteous brand of freedom. Pettiford is particularly inspired on trio and duo versions of "Till There Was You," where he displays an uncanny knack for enunciating lyrical syncopations without losing the flow of the beat or a sense of harmonic structure. His ringing half notes on the head to "Will You Still Be Mine?" set up a vibrant series of Rollins/Roach exchanges, while his charming solo distills the melody into its most swinging components. But it's "Freedom Suite," with its stunning stops and starts, extended variations, thematic interludes, and exhilarating denouement, that invites the most superlatives. Rollins' sense of sustained melodic invention is remarkable, as is his cyclical formal structure. The opening theme, with its affectionate parody of a formal overture, sets the band in motion, as if motifs and contrasting themes criss-cross and collide in a swinging trialogue. A waltz figure and dramatic, extended cadenza introduces one of Rollins' most touching ballads, richly tinted in smoky shades of blue, with some joyous buck and wing by Pettiford and Roach. Finally, a reprise of the waltz theme gives way to a climactic chase, inspiring some of Roach's most fervent, singing breaks, before a return to the opening theme ties it all up. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 18, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

The second volume of the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Music Inn was released in 1959, a year after its historic first volume with guest Jimmy Giuffre. The format on this set is similar, with pianist John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Connie Kay moving through a gorgeous medley of standards to open including "Stardust," "I Can't Get Started," and "Lover Man," with beautiful and clever counterpoint between Lewis and Jackson on the melody lines. There are two of Lewis' originals here as well. The first is the wry, spare "Midsömmer" that begins atmospherically, with sparse lines played by Jackson that reverberate as Heath's bowed bass underscores them. When Lewis enters, the melody unfolds tenderly and thoughtfully. It's a ballad of tension and textures. Lewis' penchant for classical architecture permeates the tune, though it swings gently as well, with Kay's brushed cymbals and gracefully caressed hi hat. "Festival "Sketch," at a little over three-and-a-half minutes, takes a counterpoint melody and generates a skittering swing tune out of it. As on the previous volume, the Modern Jazz Quartet are joined by a guest for the final two cuts; ace saxophonist Sonny Rollins digs in on both the classic "Bags Groove," composed by Jackson, and Dizzy Gillespie's bebop anthem "Night in Tunisia." Both tunes are rooted in blues grooves. Rollins understands the MJQ's use of tension and dynamics beautifully. His big, warm tone above Lewis and Jackson on the former is sweet, relaxed, and in-the-pocket. On the latter, the knotty melodic frame is played a little slower, but is a tough fingerpopper nonetheless, with Rollins playing accents in the opening vamps and the just gliding into his big bluesy solo. This is a welcome addition to volume one, and a larger study in contrasts given Rollins propensity to really blow, as opposed Giuffre's lower key approach on the first volume. To say that this set works is an understatement. It is a highlight of the group's storied career on Atlantic. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 9, 2016 | Shami Media Group 3

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | Prestige

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Concord Records

When the disasters on 9/11 occurred, the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins was in his New York apartment, only blocks away from the World Trade Center. He survived a night without electricity and was of course deeply affected by the catastrophe. At the urging of his wife and manager, Lucille, he fulfilled an engagement to play in Boston four days later, and the concert recording was released four years later. Rollins is quite emotional in his playing and can be heard throughout in peak creative form. While many of his detractors feel that his studio recordings since the 1970s have not had the excitement of his live concerts, they should find much to enjoy on this passionate if not flawless set; the trombonist stumbles a bit on "Global Warming." Rollins, performing with his usual sextet (which includes his nephew Clifton Anderson on trombone, pianist Stephen Scott, and his longtime electric bassist Bob Cranshaw) stretches out on four standards and his calypso "Global Warming," really digging into the melodies. His playing sounds a bit like a purging of bad memories, while at the same time seeming hopeful about the future. The result is arguably Sonny Rollins' best recording of the past decade, and is a highly recommended set. © Scott Yanow /TiVo