Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
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One of Rollins' best
John Heyrman | Berea, KY USA | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some purists might not appreciate the electronic sound of this late 1970s album (compared with his classic 1950s recordings), but I highly recommend this album to any Rollins fan if that does not bother you. It is perhaps the best of his work of that era. This is a fine selection of songs, from the rollicking Stevie Wonder cover "Isn't She Lovely" to some excellent ballads, such as the title track; there are no weak songs or weak playing here. Especially memorable is the long, album-ending "Hear What I'm Saying." The superb drumming of Tony Williams is a highlight throughout the album."
Not as easy as it looks
Matthew Watters | Vietnam | 04/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Poor Sonny Rollins. A monumental talent of prodigious technique and (for the jazz world) astonishing longevity, but he never really broke ground, never led a movement. His most original contribution -- his motivic improvisation -- was simply too difficult for other musicians to follow. It required a unique talent. So here, with his 1978 album Easy Living, we have Sonny, sounding as colossal as ever but also clearly borrowing the propensity to 'cry' and flurry on his instrument from his more influential 'rival' John Coltrane (and finding a similar prediliction for the soprano sax). Meanwhile, Rahsaan Roland Kirk had proven years earlier that you could make exciting jazz out of a Stevie Wonder hit, and the jingle-jangle, fusion-like backing provided here by George Duke and Tony Williams comes about a decade too late to really be hip. In theory, then, this album should have been almost a limp concession, another admission by Sonny that he'd always be behind the stylistic curve, never ahead of it. But, then there's the music itself, which -- listened to decades later -- sounds joyous and fresh, even to ears like mine which will always hear 1957 as the pinnacle of recorded jazz. (Even the soprano sax sounds, excitingly, more like Bechet than Trane ever did.) Easy Living may have been a kind of sell-out, but Sonny is laughing all the way to the bank. Like Woody Shaw's recordings of the same period, it transcends the passing fads of the time and sounds like real jazz. Leave all preconceptions at the door, and you too will find the living easy."