Friday, March 26, 2010

Sonny ROLLINS - The Contemporary Leaders Plus 1958

Sonny ROLLINS - The Contemporary Leaders Plus 1958
1975 Issue.LAX 3021


While the personnel on this release were leaders in their own right and contemporaries of Rollins in 1958, the title refers to the fact that the musicians were all recording with their own respective groups for the west coast Contemporary label at the time this album was made. The material is essentially standards, favorites of either the swing or the bop era. "How High The Moon" gets a trio treatment, with Rollins taking his time over the taut accompaniment provided by Kessel and Vinnegar; their bass and guitar given room to stretch out as well.

Hampton Hawes' opening on "Alone Together" is lithe, muscular and spare. Rollins doesn't even enter to solo until after choruses by Hawes and Kessell, giving things a friendly, jam-session atmosphere. Manne lays out on "In The Chapel In The Moonlight," on which the tenorist waxes lyrical to the sure-footed, understated accompaniment of piano, bass and guitar. The presence of these layered, intriguing arrangements makes this record more than a simple all-star blowing date.
The last of the classic Sonny Rollins albums prior to his unexpected three-year retirement features the great tenor with pianist Hampton Hawes, guitarist Barney Kessell bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne (all bandleaders for Contemporary Records during this era) on an unusual but inspired list of standards. Rollins creates explorative and often witty improvisations on such songs as Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody, You, In the Chapel in the Moonlight and roaring versions of I've Found a New Baby and The Song Is You. Great music.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
Sonny Rollins- (Tenor sax)
Hampton Hawes- (Piano)
Barney Kessel- (Guitar)
Leroy Vinnegar- (Bass)
Shelly Manne- (Drums)
Victor Feldman- (vibes on 4, 5)
A1. I've Told Ev'ry Little Star  5:24
A2. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody  4:50
A3. How High the Moon  7:45
A4. You  4:14
B1. I've Found a New Baby   3:35
B2. Alone Together  5:50
B3. In the Chapel in the Moonlight  6:40
B4. The Song Is You   6:10


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