Sonny Rollins - The Freelance Years - 2000
Artist: Sonny Rollins
Title Of Album: The Freelance Years - The Complete Riverside & Contemporary Recordings (1956-1958)
Year Of Release: 2000
Genre: Mainstream / Bop
Quality: FLAC / MP3
Total Size: 1,78gb / 821 mb
2014-07-11 + MP3
Sonny Rollins has been a major figure in jazz since the 1950s, a titanic improviser whose weighty sound and speech-like ease have embodied a larger-than-life personality--swaggering, comic, soaring, and tender by turns. For all that career longevity, though, his most creative work dates from the flowering of his talent in the late '50s, when he emerged as a dominant presence after years as a sideman with Miles Davis and Max Roach. He had developed a unique gift for the extended solo, creating remarkable musical architecture with fragments of melody and infinitely varied rhythmic patterns. His sense of swing was extraordinary. He would do everything possible not to swing--from false slowdowns to on-the-beat accents--while still somehow driving forward. During that time he recorded for most of the important independent jazz labels, and his Complete Prestige and Complete Blue Note recordings have already appeared. This five-disc set comprises all his work for the New York Riverside and Los Angeles Contemporary labels, recorded between December 1956 and October 1958, and as such forms a remarkable portrait of the period as well as its outstanding soloist. The set includes all of Rollins's sideman appearances for Riverside, all made in Roach's creative orbit. There's a quintet date with trumpeter Kenny Dorham that adds harp to a rendition of "My Old Flame," another with Abbey Lincoln that brings gritty realism and high drama to jazz singing, and Thelonious Monk's essential Brilliant Corners. Rollins also leads terrific sessions with pianists Sonny Clark and Hampton Hawes and guitarist Barney Kessel, with a repertoire from "Toot, Toot, Tootsie" to a theme from Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" symphony. Though he would already go as far as solo saxophone for a version of "It Could Happen to You," Rollins is at his very best--both his wittiest and most profound--with just bass and drum accompaniment. The first Contemporary recording, originally released as Way Out West, plays with the East-West rivalry then current in jazz. Rollins, the quintessential East Coaster, is clearly having great fun applying himself to "I'm an Old Cowhand" and "Wagon Wheels," and that only feeds the level of group invention with Roy Brown and Shelly Manne. Amidst all this great music, the crowning touch is the Freedom Suite session, with Rollins working through the 20-minute title track and a series of standards with superb support and interplay from Roach and Oscar Pettiford. It's essential music, rivaled by only two contemporaneous recordings in the Rollins canon, Saxophone Colossus and A Night at the Village Vanguard.
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