Saxophone Forum


by jazzax
(30 posts)
10 years ago

Sonny Rollins Before and After

I'm feeling really out there. I hate to admit that I didn't know old Sonny Rollins was still walking the planet. For some reason, I thought he had died some years ago, but I couldn't find an obit out there and I see that he won a Granny for lifetime achievement this year. I personally love Sonny's early playing the most, before he went out there and spent all that time on that bridge. I do like that album from '63 The Bridge. Still, his earlier playing was just so remarkable and spontaneous. Like those mono Village Vanguard sides, the Sound of Sonny, Way Out West, Freedom Jazz Suite, Saxophone Colossus, etc. This music has been inspiring me (and many others) for years. I just got the complete Prestige recordings box set and it's full of the cuts that made his reputation. There were some albums he did later, after the Bridge, that I thought were very disappointing (like East Broadway Rundown). It's just an opinion, so it's not worth much really. However, if someone really digs some of his later recordings, let me know what they are.

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  1. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Sonny Rollins Before and After

    Yeah, I would definetly have to agree that his earlier recordings were much better. My favorite album of his was in '57; Sonny Side Up. Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, and Dizzy Gillespie. This CD's really nothing more than a glorified jam session, but that's why I love it. Does anyone own the Jazz Club- Alto Sax CD? Really famous; my favorite track is Sonny Stitt playing Asy on alto. I wish Stitt had stayed on alto, because he's one of my favorite blues alto players on the planet. Not that that is all he could do, he did everything. But I liked his alto work so much better than his tenor playing.

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    1. by Minatar12
      (3 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Sonny Rollins Before and After

      Sonny was best before the Bridge...my favorite album of his being Volume 2 with JJ Johnson, Monk, Horace Silver, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey. THe biggest reason to me why he's not on the same level of inspiration anymore is that he's usually playing with merely adequate players...he had some great moments in later years with Tommy Flanagan, Branford Marsalis, but usually the people he play with are just fine, nothing special. Gone are the days playing with the lineup on Volume 2, or Max Roach, Philly Jones, Wynton Kelly, Miles, or Clifford Brown.

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      1. by barimachine
        (323 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Sonny Rollins Before and After

        yes hes completly different if you go see him know and btw his wife just passed away she was his manager RIP

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      2. by Dave36251
        (8 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Sonny Rollins Before and After

        I share your sentiments exactly Minatar12. Sonny's playing nowadays is as phenomenal as ever, but his bands are really lacking in my opinion. Especially in the bass department. I know that Cranshaw and Sonny have been playin' together for a long time and he may feel some sort of obligation to him but geez, I just can't stand to hear him playin' electric w/ sonny. I'd love to hear sonny w/ a truly killin' trio (something like Branford's band, or Wayne's band) because then I think we'd hear some of the best sonny in years. As far as my favorite Sonny it's just to hard to pick one. There are so many great albums. One that sticks out in my head is him live in Stockholm around 1960 w/ a trio. His playing is downright scarry on that record!

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