Sonny Rollins (ts), Henry Grimes (b), Specs Wright (d) / Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Gil Coggins (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Kenny Dennis (d)
Reference: FSRCD 649
Sonny Rollins debut album with a big band was nothing if not impressive. Producer Leonard Feather joined forces with arranger Ernie Wilkins to give Rollins a set of four orchestral showcases for his horn. The stellar brass section delivers a quality performance, but it is Rollins blowing and his enormous verve, virility and inventiveness that carry the load. Theres a buoyancy in his playing that drives through the album, enlivening also the small group sides. The rhythm section on the big band date includes Dick Katz on piano, and drummer Roy Haynes, but the bassist on both sessionstrio and Big Brasswas the great Henry Grimes.
Originally released by Metrojazz, the album shows Rollins to considerable advantage in both settings, and then, on the last track, he stars unaccompanied, full of fluency and freshness, on the tune indelibly associated with him - Body and Soul.
The last session in this set was also a Feather production, recorded for Period Records in 1957, coincidentally the year Rollins was voted New Tenor Sax Star in the Down Beat Critics Poll. This time the setting is a quintet, with Jimmy Cleveland on trombone. Rollins work on the funky blues Sonnymoon for Two has an arresting, stop-time chorus and though he hardly alters his regular rhythmic style, no tenor back then could swing more with more authority and sustained drive.
01. Grand Street (Rollins) 5:55
02. Far Out East (Wilkins) 4:31
03. Who Cares? (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:56
04. Love Is a Simple Thing (Carroll-Siegel) 3:00
05. Whats My Name? (Saxon-Well) 3:46
06. If You Were the Only Girl in the World (Ayer-Grey) 5:07
07. Manhattan (Rodgers-Hart) 4:28
08. Body and Soul -tenor sax solo (Green-Heyman-Sour-Eyton) 4:17
09. Sonnymoon for Two (Rollins) 9:05
10. Like Someone in Love (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:57
11. Theme from Symphony No.6 Pathetique (Tchaikovsky) 5:56
Total time: 55:00 min. aprox.
Tracks #1-8 from the Metrojazz album "Sonny Rollins and The Big Brass" (Stereo E1002)
Later reissued as Verve Stereo V-8430
Tracks #9-11 from the Period album "Sonny Rollins Plays" (LP1204)
Personnel on #1-4:
Nat Adderley (cnt), Clark Terry, Reunald Jones, Ernie Royal (tp), Billy Byers, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak (tb), Don Butterfield (tuba), Sonny Rollins (ts), Dick Katz (p), René Thomas (g), Henry Grimes (b) and Roy Haynes (d). Ernie Wilkins (arr, dir).
Recorded at Metropolitan Studios, New York, on July 11, 1958
Personnel on #5-8:
Sonny Rollins (ts), Henry Grimes (b) and Specs Wright (d).
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York, on July 10, 1958
Personnel on #9-11:
Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Sonny Rollins (ts), Gil Coggins (p), Wendell Marshall (b) and Kenny Dennis (d).
Recorded in New York, on November 4, 1957
Original recordings produced by Leonard Feather
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
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