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East Broadway Run Down Original recording reissued

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, August 15, 1995
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 15, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Impulse-GRP Records
  • ASIN: B000003N7O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,030 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Groothuis on July 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Sonny scored John Coltrane's rhythm section for this gig! The agile, power-house Elvin Jones is on drums and the great Jimmy Garrison is on bass. They smoke throughout and mix nicely with Newk's improvizations. Trumpet master, Freddie Hubbard, a fluid improviser with a clear tone, appears only on the title song.
Sonny never fully embraced the "new thing" (or "free jazz") of the later sixties, as did Coltrane and Ornette Coleman before him. That's fine; it is no blemish on his superb career. Nevertheless, the title track (20 minutes long) is a bit "outside"--and wonderfully so. It begins with a minimal head repeated a few times by the front line and then leaves space for exploration. The absence of piano diminishes melody, but opens up possibilities for everyone involved. There are some strange, rather haunting, but satisfying sections where Sonny plays his detrached mouthpiece, or so Nat Hentoff tells us in his liner notes (which are quite well done, as usual).
"Blessing in Disguise" is about 12 minutes of more straightforward post-bop--without the always rewarding Mr. Hubbard. Sonny uses his monster lower register for the head, which is infectious. His tone is consistently muscular without being overbearing.
"We Kiss in a Shadow" is the most melodic piece and more of a ballad. It is executed perfectly by the trio.
Few saxophonists can thrive and servive in the stripped down, naked-to-the-world format of drums, bass, and horn. (Trane did, of course, in "Chasin' the Trane" ("Live at the Village Vanguard") and on several of the cuts on the "Lush Life" recording.) Mr. Rollins not only survives in it, but thrives, and even soars, as the last two pieces here demonstrate.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This recording got 5 stars in Downbeat in 1966+/-. All of the players sound great. Rollins' first solo on the title cut is commanding and gigantic. These players are all so strong. Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. They really play with shapes. There are no cliches here. I've had this recording since 1967 and I'll say this, if you like the Coltrane Quartet, you'll get another angle on Garrison/Jones of the same vintage with an equally commanding saxophonist (if that is possible re:Coltrane). Enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Smith on February 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
While Rollins' greatness and influence on his instrument are beyond dispute, his recording career has been checkered. His admitted lack of comfort in the recording studio has shown at times, but "East Broadway Rundown," happily, finds Sonny in fine form.
The spark is struck from the jagged opening notes of the title tune. It's a 20-minute boiler that receives constant fuel from the multilayered drumming of Elvin Jones. Freddie Hubbard lends his trumpet to this cut and shows why he was considered one of the most promising young talents on that instrument during the '60s. He takes a passionate, perfectly crafted solo that matches the intensity that Rollins brings to the piece. There is a long free stretch that includes Rollins blowing through his mouthpiece. The whole thing serves as a useful reminder that in 1966 jazz musicians were willing to take chances and to challenge their listeners and that there were producers -- Bob Thiele, in this case -- who would allow them to do so.
The other lengthy piece is the aggressive "Blessing in Disguise," which finds Sonny employing tension and release to great effect with the help of another Coltrane stalwart, bassist Jimmy Garrison. Garrison's walking bass behind Rollins spurs the saxophonist to produce some highly exciting playing. He's all over the instrument, riffing up, down and sideways as only Sonny can.
Sonny's first release on Impulse was about as memorable as its title ("Sonny Rollins on Impulse"), but "East Broadway Rundown" reveals the saxophonist's power. Must buy for Rollins fans.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Boris Godunov on December 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"East Broadway Rundown" completed Sonny Rollins' short stay at the Impulse label and it has to be said that the three records he laid down there never reached the heights of stablemates such as Mingus, Coltrane and even Shepp.
Not that any of these men (or anyone else for that matter) could be said to be Rollins' equal when it comes to thematic improvision, but "EBR" and "On Impulse!" simply lack the artistic coherence (in terms of choice of material, group empathy and joie de vivre) evinced on Rollins' classic recordings of the mid-to-late 1950s.
The title track begins promisingly with Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones falling immediately into a powerful mid-to-up tempo groove. Rollins' solo unveils his matchless tone and his developing and intriguing concept of space, and Freddie Hubbard enlivens proceedings but the intensity of the piece tapers off several minutes in and the subsequent experimentation with tone and sound, while interesting at times, ultimately fails to convince. Richard Cook and Brian Morton (Penguin Guide to Jazz on Compact Disc) accurately, if pitilessly, note that "EBR" spends "a long time going nowhere."
"Blessing in Disguise" is an appealing blues with a simple, almost static melodic line which continues Rollins' experimentation with the bare canvas he inscribes on the title track. While more successful than "EBR", "Blessing" also ultimately runs too long and dissipates the energy it had generated.
"We Kiss in the Shadow" is taken at slow-to-mid tempo and Rollins' matchless tone is again on display. He fails, however, to carve one of the startling meditations on a theme for which he is so justly renowned.
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