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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins loaned his flair to the dramatic to the score for the film Alfie, accompanying the story of what the liner notes describe as "the involuntary education of a hipster." Arranged by Oliver Nelson, the soundtrack follows the character's evolution from the carefree, rakish Lothario of "Alfie's Theme" to the contemplative, somewhat broken man reflected in "Alfie's Theme Differently." Rollins attempts to capture the textures of life through his incisive and energetic playing, his coherent improvisations, and variations on musical themes. While "Alfie's Theme" and its variants make the most lasting impression, "He's Younger Than You Are" is touching, laced with regret. And the sensual, relaxed "On Impulse" has a nice sense of immediacy., Rovi

Customer Reviews


One of the best soundtracks ever. Sonny Rollins puts together six transcendent pieces for the movie and produces a landmark jazz album. By turns jaunty and playful then rueful and bluesy, these numbers cement Rollins' legacy in the Jazz Canon. With a full-sounding eight-piece band behind him featuring Jimmy Cleveland on trombone, Roger Kellaway on piano, and the masterful Kenny Burrell on guitar, Sonny Rollins' improvisational stylings conjure Alfie's own journey from lothario to loner. There isn't a weak track in the set. (But don't expect to find the Bacharach/David song of the same title on this collection.)

Original Music from the score Alfie - Sonny Rollins

A great record (cd now, I suppose). Sonny Rollins at what I consider the apex of his '60s form. His improvisation on this is a perfect fusion of his '50s bebop roots and the abstract, freer playing of some of his RCA and Impulse work of the '60s. Memorable, haunting ballads such as "He's Younger Than You Are", and an underrated waltz "On Impulse". Sonny really stretches on the title track, yet even though he has quite an extended solo it retains the coherence, logic and unity that he's known for. The spare orchestrations by Oliver Nelson really set a beautiful mood and bring out the best in what were probably very lightly written originals by Sonny. Check this out along with "Three Little Words" from the album "On Impulse" (not to be confused with the cut of the same name on this album!!) and "The Bridge" cd for Sonny's greatest '60s studio work. Also be sure to get "Live In London Volume 2" for some amazing live stretching out from Sonny from the same period.

This Is Beautiful!

All I can say is that this is beautiful stuff. If the closed circle of composers of Hollywood soundtracks could trap half the creative juice flowing from this album, they could cash in for early retirement and rest on their creative laurels for the remainder of their careers.


Born: September 7, 1930 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 as one of the greatest contemporary jazz saxophonists 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. Born Theodore Walter Rollins in New York...
Full Bio

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