Although it created a buzz within the jazz community at the time, this meeting between Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane a year after the death of Charlie Parker was not the slugfest for saxophone supremacy that might be imagined, given the exalted reputations of the two tenors today. That said, the 13-minute title track is both searing and sublime, less a cutting contest than a mutual desire to uphold an incredibly high standard set by the level of their mutual respect. Both Rollins and ‘Trane are at the top of their hard-bop game, exchanging seven and eight choruses and then steadily whittling it down to a chase, with drummer Philly Joe Jones getting beats in edgewise. The rest of the rhythm section for Miles Davis at the time — Red Garland on piano and bassist Paul Chambers — add smart and nimble support. The rest of the disc, sans Coltrane, is rewarding, especially the closing “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” but inevitably anti-climatic.
By Kevin Whitehead on 11.24.10 in Icons
No jazz musician inspires flattering imitators and devoted listeners like saxophonist John Coltrane. One reason is because there's a Coltrane for every taste: the yearning balladeer; the hard bop jackrabbit, scaling intr...
By Marc Hogan on 12.16.14 in News
The record industry's older recognition-bestowing body has just shown up its younger sibling. Earlier today, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2015 inductees, nominated candidates such as Chic and Kraftwe...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Lists
From the Cookers to Sean Jones, Farmers By Nature to the Bad Plus, Wondering Sound picks the top jazz albums of 2014.
By Marc Hogan on 08.04.14 in News
Sonny Rollins, the jazz great, has something to say. Last week, The New Yorker's humor blog ran a piece by The Onion senior writer Django Gold titled, "Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words." The satire must have been lost on...