Sonny Rollins

The Complete Prestige Recordings

  • AllMusic Rating
    10
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This seven-CD box set lives up to its title, reissuing in chronological order all of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins' recordings for Prestige. Dating mostly from 1951-1956, these valuable performances find Rollins developing from a promising player to a potential giant; many of his best recordings would take place a year or two after this program ends. In addition to his own sessions, Rollins is featured with trombonist J.J. Johnson, on four dates with Miles Davis, and on sessions led by Thelonious Monk and trumpeter Art Farmer. Among the other musicians participating are trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Clifford Brown; pianists John Lewis, Kenny Drew, Horace Silver, Elmo Hope, Ray Bryant, Red Garland, and Tommy Flanagan; drummers Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, and Philly Joe Jones; the Modern Jazz Quartet; Julius Watkins on French horn; altoist Jackie McLean; and even Charlie Parker. Among the many highlights are the original versions of Rollins' compositions "Airegin," "Oleo," "Doxy," "St. Thomas," and "Blue 7," and his one recorded meeting with John Coltrane ("Tenor Madness"). Essential music that is treated as it should be. The attractive booklet is a major plus too.

blue highlight denotes track pick