TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
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One of the pivotal recordings in bringing about the widespread acceptance of Sonny Rollins as a major figure, Saxophone Colossus inspired critics to write scholarly analyses and fans to revel in the hard-swinging invention, humor, and tender-strength balladry. Up to this album, while most musicians recognized Rollins as one of the new influential forces in the jazz of the '50s, most critics were carping at Rollins or damning him with faint praise. "St. Thomas", a traditional West Indian melody which Mal Waldron remembered as "The Carnival", was recorded by many artists after Sonny introduced it here, and it remains a jazz standard today. The contributions of Tommy Flanagan's elegant swing, Doug Watkins's steady lift, and Max Roach's most musical accompaniment and soloing (hear "Blue 7") make this a landmark album.
Originally released in 1956.
Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of 'St. Thomas,' tears into the chord changes of 'Mack the Knife' (here called 'Moritat'), introduces 'Strode Rode,' is lyrical on 'You Don't Know What Love Is,' and constructs a solo on 'Blue Seven' that practically defines his style.
Since 2002, mastering facilities like those helmed by Kevin Gray have improved. Analogue Productions' 33RPM mastering produces an even larger soundstage with better depth. Add to that the fact that the new packaging is far superior to the 45RPM issue, and this one-disc package is Sonny Rollins nirvana.
The sound on Saxophone Colossus is upfront and immediate. Rollins' tenor is appealingly fat and sweet-sounding, the piano and bass are as nimble as kittens' paws, and the drums have a great crispness and snap.
- 180g Vinyl
- Limited Edition, Less Than 1000 Records per stamper, released in limited quantities
- Cut from the analogue masters by Kevin Gray
- Pressed by Quality Record Pressings with a flat edge profile & deep groove label, true to the original LP
- Deluxe high-gloss tip-on album jacket
- Officially Licensed & Authorized for release by the Record Label
|Sonny Rollins||tenor sax|
- Strode Rode
- Blue 7
- St. Thomas
- You Don't Know What Love Is