Like all of the other BLUE NOTE'S GREAT SESSIONS collections, the Sonny Rollins installment brings together three discs in one box set. Rollins is represented by 1956's album SONNY ROLLINS VOL. 1, '57's SONNY ROLLINS VOL. 2, and NEWK'S TIME, also from '57. While not quite as essential as his Prestige dates from the same period, Rollins's Blue Note work is still outstanding, especially given the neverending stream of great harmonic and rhythmic ideas the tenor giant unfurls in his solos.
VOLUMES 1 and 2 are solid bop outings that feature superb playing from Rollins and an all-star personnel (VOL. 2 is especially notable for the two Thelonious Monk tracks that feature Monk himself trading piano solos with Horace Silver). NEWK'S TIME serves up an excellent slice of prime-period hard-bop with the bluesy pianist Wynton Kelly and the tasteful drumming of Philly Joe Jones smoothing out the edges.