Sonny Rollins

A Night at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1

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Sonny Rollins, one of jazz's great tenors, is heard here at his peak with a pair of piano-less trios (either Wilbur Ware or Donald Bailey on bass and Elvin Jones or Pete La Roca on drums) stretching out on particularly creative versions of "Old Devil Moon," "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," "Sonnymoon for Two," and "A Night in Tunisia," among others. Not only did Rollins have a very distinctive sound but his use of time, his sly wit, and his boppish but unpredictable style were completely his own by 1957. Truly magical. [Originally released as separate albums, A Night at the Village Vanguard has also been reissued in its entirety, complete with alternate takes.]

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