Sonny Rollins/Sonny Rollins Quartet: Tenor Madness

Track List

Album Notes

Sonny Rollins Quartet: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Additional personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 24, 1956. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler and Mark Gardner.

Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1987, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

Sonny Rollins Quartet: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Additional personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 24, 1956. Originally released on Prestige (7047). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.

Sonny Rollins Quartet: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Additional personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 24, 1956. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler and Mark Gardner.

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

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

Sonny Rollins Quartet: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Additional personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 24, 1956.

It's interesting to contrast Sonny Rollins' playing here, backed by the 1956 Miles Davis rhythm section, and his work with Ray Brown/Max Roach Incorporated. Certainly if Clifford Brown hadn't died that summer in an auto wreck, Rollins and his PLUS FOUR teammates would have continued to rival the creative output of the heralded Davis Quintet.

Here, Rollins and special guest John Coltrane get right down to it on the classic riff "Tenor Madness." Coltrane is still zeroing in on his sound, while Sonny has found his (for now). Coltrane chases the blue trains, the snakes and the wind on a fulminating solo, ending with a hint of "Stranger In Paradise." Rollins replies coyly--his sense of space and phrasing more akin to Miles--painting with clouds, patiently elongating his line out of dozens of little melodic motifs, teasing Philly Joe until he busts, finishing with a counterpunching flurry of his own. As Coltrane and Rollins trade riffs and choruses, you can hear them commenting favorably on each others' inventions until they're practically one voice.

For the remainder of TENOR MADNESS, Rollins contents himself to nurse the most possible melody and swing out of a few smokey orbs of sound, in the manner of mid '50s Lester Young. With "When Your Lover Has Gone" Sonny sets a relaxed groove atop Garland's magic chordal carpet, letting the action come to him, before giving way to a brilliant Chambers aria and a masterful Philly Joe solo. "Paul's Pal" and "My Reverie" are also given slow soulful treatments, while "The Most Beautiful Girl" concludes things at a brighter tempo, as Rollins toys with his beat like a cat with a mouse, before pouncing on it with Parker-ish rhythmic drive.



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