Friday, October 29, 2010

Great Jazz Albums (IMO) #3

Sonny Rollins, Way Out West (1957).  Sonny is my favorite saxophone player.  As one critic said: "Sonny Rollins will go down in history as not only the single most enduring tenor saxophonist of the bebop and hard bop era, but also the greatest contemporary jazz saxophonist of them all. His fluid and harmonically innovative ideas, effortless manner, and easily identifiable and accessible sound have influenced generations of performers, but have also fueled the notion that mainstream jazz music can be widely enjoyed, recognized, and proliferated."  Sonny Rollins made so many amazing albums, probably the greatest being Saxophone Colossus, and even his recent albums are noteworthy.  But I chose Way Out West, where he turns "I'm an Old Cowhand (from the Rio Grande)" into a jazz classic.  And the cover is hilarious.  [Related posts: Really Great Jazz Albums #1 and #2].


Porteous said...

This was a very unusual recording when it came out.. A trio with no piano or guitar (Ray Brown and Shelly Manne were on the date). If you like this recording, check out Sonny's live recording from later that year at the Village Vanguard.

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