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Sonny Rollins's Finest Hour

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Album Review

It seems amazing, really, given the casualty rate among the first wave of bop musicians, but Sonny Rollins has actually had a jazz career that stretches over a half-century and he is still active and recording in the early part of the 21st century. It hasn't been a haphazard career, either. While Rollins hasn't been as openly innovative and exploratory as players like John Coltrane, he was a definite influence on Trane as well as every other bop and post-bop sax player to come on the scene. This varied little set makes a nice introductory primer to Rollins' peak years, drawing on sides he cut for the Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside and Contemporary imprints between 1956 and 1966, sessions that included work with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, Roy Haynes, the Modern Jazz Quartet and many others. It isn't exhaustive, and for Rollins fans it won't be even close to nearly enough, but it makes a fine starter kit to one of the finest tenor sax players in the history of jazz.

Biography

Born: 07 September 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...
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