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Sonny Rollins: Way out West [Limited Edition]

Album Reviews:

JazzTimes (5/03, pp.161-85) - "...One of the greatest jazz recordings of all time..."

Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.165) - "...Resulting from Rollins' first trip West and is a mix of tried and tested jazz standards and Tin Pan Alley takes on cowboy tunes..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Ray Brown (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7530). Includes original liner notes by Lester Koenig.

Digitally remastered by Bernie Grundman.

Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Ray Brown (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7530). Includes original liner notes by Lester Koenig.

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1988, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Ray Brown (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7530). Includes original liner notes by Lester Koenig.

Digitally remastered by JVC using XRCD 24 (Extended Resolution Compact Disc) technology.

Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Ray Brown (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7530). Includes liner notes by Lester Koenig.

Digitally remastered using 20-bit K2 Super Coding System technology.

This is a Super Audio Hybrid CD playable on Super Audio CD players and regular CD players.

Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Ray Brown (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7530). Includes original liner notes by Lester Koenig.

Sonny Rollins was always gifted with a brawny, expressive tone and a formidable sense of swing. But on SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS he conveyed a new-found harmonic confidence and a singular sense of thematic continuity that gave each improvisation a transcendent quality. And his attack, always cutting and direct, took on immense weight and warmth.

For his first trip out to California in March of 1957, Rollins celebrated his boyhood fascination with western imagery by interpreting classic cowpoke tunes. With WAY OUT WEST, Sonny was no longer simply a gifted sideman, but a consummate tenor saxophonist--ready to stretch out as a leader--and he made the bold decision to dispense entirely with the piano and carry the full harmonic/melodic load in a trio format. This unlikely combination of elements gives WAY OUT WEST a special place in jazz history.

The veteran rhythm combo of drummer Shelly Manne and bassist Ray Brown are so clearly inspired by Rollins' youthful exuberance, that they transform the unlikeliest of themes--"I'm An Old Cowhand" and "Wagon Wheels"--into jazz anthems. On two takes of the former, Manne and Brown put you right in the saddle with clanking hooves and campfire counterpoint, and when Sonny yodels his final yippi-yi-yo-ki-yea, they settle into a ravishing medium groove that could swing you...well, until the cows come home. Sonny's ballad mastery is no less compelling, with hypnotic readings of "Solitude" and "There Is No Greater Love." Elsewhere, his jagged line "Come, Gone" launches him and his cohorts into full flight, while the bluesy inverted theme and cunning rhythmic stop-time of the title tune inspires collective interplay and soulful solos from each of these innovators.



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