Actually, not a bad CD---just not equal to his greatest...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 09/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'd add a half-star to my rating if allowed. This late career offering, from 1991, is just under one hour in length, and has only a few minutes in which Sonny goes a bit too avant-garde or free form for my more traditional tastes. For the most part, the tunes are well-chosen and the standards highly recognizable yet still improvised and therefore unique. The first two tunes, "Why Was I Born?" and "I Wish I Knew" might be Sonny's joke on us, a "call and response" pairing. Clearly, he was born to play jazz saxophone, and wonderfully, over a 40-year span. This album is not as perfectly accessible and pleasant as "Saxophone Colossus" and I recommend that one as an introduction to Rollins. However, for those who like him and have other CD's by him, don't be afraid of this one. Whether it is worth the current retail price is a matter of personal taste and budget. I lucked into my copy at a steep discount, so I'm quite happy with it. The thing becomes more enjoyable with repeated play, which is always nice to know. Playing with Sonny are Clifton Anderson on trombone, Mark Soskin on piano, Steve Jordan and Jack DeJohnette on percussion, Jerome Harris on electric guitar and Bob Cranshaw on electric bass. I prefer the acoustic versions of those instruments, but you might prefer electric. In addition to the opening selections already mentioned, I have a special fondness for Sonny's treatment of "Someone to Watch Over Me." Neither of the two prior reviewers liked this as much as I do, but the guys don't say exactly why. My suggestion is to listen to the samples and look at the cost and make up your own mind."