Sonny Rollins

The Freedom Suite Plus

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Sonny Rollins was at one of the peaks of his career during 1956-1958, recording one classic after another. This two-LP set is highlighted by the great tenor's monumental 19-minute "The Freedom Suite," an exploration with bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach that hints at free jazz and Ornette Coleman (who had not yet emerged) even within its tight structure. The trio also digs into four unusual standards (including Noel Coward's "Someday I'll Find You" and "Shadow Waltz"). The latter half of this two-fer has Rollins (along with pianist Sonny Clark, either Percy Heath or Paul Chambers on bass, and drummer Roy Haynes) improvising on a wide variety of material including "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," "Just in Time" (a classic if eccentric version), and even "Toot, Toot, Tootsie." In addition, Rollins takes "It Could Happen to You" as an unaccompanied tenor solo, the first time he had recorded in that format. Highly recommended music.

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