Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
MikeG | England | 06/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD anthologises some of Sonny Rollins's better performances from the mid-1960s. It was an unsettled period for Rollins, when the quality of his music could be frustratingly inconsistent. Even though he was continuing to develop as a soloist and was extending the tonal resources of his tenor sax playing, he seemed often to be dissatisfied with conventional jazz material. A good example of the uneven nature of his work during this period was the album `East Broadway Rundown', which brought into the studio four excellent musicians - Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Garrison and the great Elvin Jones - and then wasted their talents on the over-long title track, a rambling piece of "free" improvisation which took up one side of the LP. This CD performs a particularly valuable service by salvaging the two remaining tracks by the splendid trio of Rollins, Garrison and Jones, and they are so good that you wonder how the opportunity could have been passed up to make a whole album by the trio. "We Kiss in the Shadow" has Rollins playing with an unusual tender romanticism without losing that familiar depth and strength of tone, and "Blessing in Disguise" is an absorbing, exhilarating blues (its five-note theme sounds like an ironic reduction of the rock'n'roll tune, "Be Bop a Lula"), played at a slow walking pace and full of fascinating twists and turns. Garrison and, especially, Jones are in excellent form on both tracks, the drummer providing shifting tone-colours and polyrhythms behind the saxophonist and Garrison contributing a good solo to "Blessing in Disguise"."Alfie's Theme" is the main theme from Rollins's score for the Lewis Gilbert film. The tune is a simple, jaunty piece depicting the self-assured womaniser played by Michael Caine, and it has some good solos from Kenny Burrell and Roger Kellaway. But it soon turns into a vehicle for one of Rollins's most amazing improvisations, again full of unexpected twists and turns of phrasing and harmony and exploiting some effective distortions of tone as it gradually builds to an electrifying climax. The remaining tracks are from Sonny Rollins on Impulse (minus one track from that album: "On Green Dolphin Street") - a session that caught Rollins on good though uneven form with a particularly alert and sympathetic quartet which includes pianist Ray Bryant at his best. It contains one of Rollins's finest performances - a witty, inventive discourse on "Three Little Words" in which he manages to sound typically relaxed and in masterly control at a fast tempo - and a nicely shaped, affectionate reading of "Blue Room". If space could have been found for the omitted track from On Impulse (and possibly "He's Younger Than You Are" from Alfie - a poignant ballad performance) this would have been an indispensable disc. As it is, it's a very highly recommended one to anyone who doesn't already have, or who doesn't intend to acquire, the three separate albums. "Priceless Jazz" indeed!"