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American Jungle

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Album Review

Altoist Sonny Simmons' second Warner Bros. release is not quite on the same level as his first. "Coltrane Story" and "My Favorite Things" are too close in style to John Coltrane (with pianist Travis Shook, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Cindy Blackman closely emulating 'Trane's rhythm section), and even the other three numbers hint strongly at Coltrane. Simmons does play quite well throughout, and this set helped consolidate his unlikely - but well deserved - comeback.


Born: 04 August 1933 in Sicily Island, LA

Genre: Jazz

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

Altoist Sonny Simmons made a strong impression in the 1960s as one of the most promising avant-garde players. He grew up in Oakland, CA, started playing English horn, and then at 16 took up the alto. Stints with Lowell Fulsom and Amos Milburn and some time spent playing bebop preceded Simmons finding his own sound in free jazz. In 1961, he spent some time with Charles Mingus and then, in 1962, he formed a group with flutist Prince Lasha. After they recorded The Cry, Simmons moved to New York, recorded...
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