Searing Sonny Rollins performances
Matthew Watters | Vietnam | 04/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll confess that my own jazz prejudices run pretty deep. I have always suspected that everything important in this music was pretty much said by about 1964, with the music then splitting between a mainstream that added electric basses and keyboards (yikes) and largely turned the music into instrumental pop or funk, and an avant garde that, from Albert Ayler and Sunny Murray in the late 60s through players like Jemeel Moondoc and William Parker in the new improvisatory scene, is largely keeping the true flame of creative jazz alive. What's interesting about Sonny Rollins' Road Shows is that, like the later career of Ornette Coleman, it represents both trends. Sonny's backing band since the late 70s is faceless, amplified dreck of the sort that pretty much ruined jazz, and that's what you'll hear on these tracks. But Sonny himself, well, he's really reaching out there on these performances, really tapping into the spiritual vein of the avant garde. I found myself really digging it. Take his treatment of the great old standard "Easy Living," for instance, performed in Warsaw in 1980. He really tears it up, and even the sour electric piano and cheesy electric bass can't ruin it. All in all, I approached Road Shows with trepidation. I mean, how could you make a decent album out of a bunch of highlights from disparate concerts over the past 25 years? It was a recipe for disaster. But the result is astonishingly coherent, a testament to how consistent Sonny Rollins mature vision has been, at least in live performance. Great stuff."
Track Listing Details
Alan Christopher | USA | 03/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson, trombone; Mark Soskin, piano; Bobby Broom, guitar; Jerome Harris, electric bass; Al Foster, drums. Recorded at Kosei Nenkin Hall, Tokyo, Japan; May 25, 1986 (9:26)
*More Than You Know*
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone, Clifton Anderson, trombone; Bobby Broom, guitar; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Victor Lewis, drums; Kimati Dinizulu, percussion. Recorded at La Halle aux Grains, Toulouse, France; May 15, 2006 (8:44)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Mark Soskin, piano; Jerome Harris, electric bass; Al Foster, drums. Recorded at Umea (Sweden) Jazz Festival; October 25, 1980 (12:28)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Mark Soskin, piano; Jerome Harris, electric bass; Al Foster, drums. Recorded at Congress Hall, Warsaw (Poland) Jazz Jamboree; October 23, 1980 (11:03)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson, trombone; Stephen Scott, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Perry Wilson, drums; Victor See-Yuen, percussion. Recorded at Pantheon Tama, Tama City, Japan; June 8, 2000 (7:50)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson, trombone; Bobby Broom, guitar; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Steve Jordan, drums; Kimati Dinizulu, percussion.Recorded at Royal Theatre, Victoria, B.C. Canada; June 24, 2007 (12:12)
*Some Enchanted Evening*
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Christian McBride, bass; Roy Haynes, drums.Recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York City, September 18, 2007 (9:55)
Cuts 1,3,5,6 are Rollins compositions. (71:37 total time)"
Are You Kidding Me?
Chicago Bob | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's just magical what this man has done, can do and continues to do even into his 80's. I've listened to Sonny since my youth and have seen him on a number of occasions. He is on fire on these live recordings and lifts the roof on the Tenor Madness cut. This the one he did with Coltrane in the 56. His group is superior and anyone who likes jazz must own this. Sonny plans to release a number of live recordings that span the last 30 years. I am already anticipating the releases. I bow to the genius. Thanks Sonny, I love you man."