Sonny Rollins - The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1997)

Sonny Rollins - The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1997)
FLAC (tracks + .cue) | 5h 46 min | Genre: Jazz | 1.8 GB

Tracklist:
Disc 1
01. Without a Song (7:28)
02. Where Are You? (5:10)
03. John S. (7:42)
04. The Bridge (5:59)
05. God Bless the Child (7:27)
06. You Do Something To Me (6:50)
07. Don't Stop the Carnival (6:08)
08. If Ever I Would Leave You (12:03)
Disc 2
01. Jungoso (10:55)
02. Bluesongo (4:43)
03. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (9:12)
04. Brown Skin Girl (6:47)
05. Fifty-Second Street Theme (14:41)
06. Four (7:52)
Disc 3
01. Oleo (25:24)
02. Dearly Beloved (8:21)
03. Doxy (15:18)
04. You Are My Lucky Star (3:46)
05. I Could Write A Book (3:17)
06. There Will Never Be Another You (5:43)
Disc 4
01. Yesterdays (5:13)
02. All the Things You Are (9:34)
03. Summertime (5:58)
04. Just Friends (4:40)
05. Lover Man (8:54)
06. At McKie's (7:03)
07. Now's the Time (4:03)
08. Blue 'n' Boogie (5:31)
09. I Remember Clifford (2:36)
10. Fifty-Second Street Theme (4:32)
Disc 5
01. St. Thomas (3:58)
02. 'Round Midnight (4:02)
03. Afternoon In Paris (2:45)
04. Four (7:15)
05. I Remember Clifford (6:05)
06. St. Thomas (3:07)
07. Django (5:24)
08. Afternoon In Paris (3:02)
09. Now's the Time (15:53)
10. Four (2) (5:52)
Disc 6
01. Autumn Nocturne (3:03)
02. Night and Day (3:19)
03. Love Letters (3:29)
04. My One and Only Love (6:01)
05. Three Little Words (2:16)
06. Trav'lin' Light (4:08)
07. I'll Be Seeing You (1:39)
08. My Ship (4:14)
09. It Could Happen To You (4:21)
10. Long Ago and Far Away (2:50)
11. Winter Wonderland (5:20)
12. When You Wish Upon a Star (3:18)
13. Trav'lin' Light (alternate) (12:45)
• Sonny Rollins emerged from a three-year retirement in 1961 and soon signed with RCA Victor, remaining with the label until 1964. It was one of his most creative periods, and if the music is sometimes less focused than in the period from 1956 to 1959, these were years of musical adventure and whimsical exploration when Rollins seemed to challenge the limits of his own mastery. That sense of ferment is apparent in the sudden shifts in group architecture. The first recordings here have Rollins leading a quartet with the guitarist Jim Hall, a group of stunning empathy in which the understated Hall sounds like Rollins's perfect foil, deftly matching his lyricism and his rhythmic invention. The most startling music, though, comes from the live recordings with a quartet that included former Ornette Coleman sidemen Don Cherry and Billy Higgins. Together they shatter two of Rollins's best-known tunes, "Oleo" and "Doxy," into a thousand pieces, reassembling and reinventing them in extended group improvisations that represent a stunning rapprochement between hard-bop swing and free-jazz dialogue. It's some of the greatest music in the Rollins canon and a neglected landmark of early free jazz. His quixotic side may be most evident in a session with Coleman Hawkins joining Rollins's quartet (with pianist Paul Bley) in one of jazz history's strangest intergenerational meetings. Both camaraderie and competition seem to arise, with Rollins at times plumbing the tenor's oddest sonorities. The later sessions have Rollins returning to something like his classic mold, using relatively conventional rhythm sections, including the young Herbie Hancock, as a springboard for solos of majestic power. -- Stuart Broomer
• This six-CD set has all of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins' recordings for RCA, including the complete contents of The Bridge, What's New, Our Man in Jazz, Sonny Meets Hawk, Now's the Time, and The Standard Sonny Rollins, the three selections originally included in the sampler Three in Jazz, and 11 alternate takes only previously released on the French album Alternates. Less well-known than Rollins' earlier Prestige and Riverside records and slightly later Impulse albums, his output for RCA was recorded right after the great tenor came back from an extended sabbatical. The music on The Bridge (with guitarist Jim Hall) is the most famous of these dates. Rollins became increasingly interested in the avant-garde during the era, and he used two of Ornette Coleman's sidemen (trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Billy Higgins) in his group for a period. On Sonny Meets Hawk, Rollins challenged his idol Coleman Hawkins by playing as outside as possible (Hawkins responded well). Other musicians heard on these recordings include bassists Bob Cranshaw, Ron Carter, and Henry Grimes, drummers Ben Riley and Mickey Roker, pianists Paul Bley and Herbie Hancock, and (on a couple of numbers) cornetist Thad Jones. However, Rollins is the main star throughout the adventurous and sometimes eccentric performances, coming up with many remarkable ideas, often rollicking with a pianoless rhythm section and in two cases taking duets with the congas of Candido. Serious Rollins collectors will have to have this valuable set, although since most of the selections have also been reissued on individual CDs, more casual jazz fans may be satisfied with one or two of the smaller reissues. -- Scott Yanow
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