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Saxophone Colossus


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Vinyl, March 26, 2013
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$30.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

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Biography

Always a restless creative spirit, a constantly self-renewing citizen of the jazz world and one of the music's leading lights, saxophone legend Sonny Rollins has long been ambivalent about, even averse to, the business side of music. However, since forming his own record label, Doxy, in 2005, Rollins has emerged as an inspired-and surprisingly assertive-entrepreneur.

Doxy's first ... Read more in Amazon's Sonny Rollins Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Saxophone Colossus + Kind of Blue (180g Vinyl) + A Love Supreme [Vinyl]
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 26, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ANALOGUE PROD.
  • ASIN: B0078SAPSE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

One of the pivotal recordings in bringing about the widespread acceptance of Sonny Rollins as a major figure, Saxophone Colossus inspired critics to write scholarly analyses and fans to revel in the hard-swinging invention, humor, and tender-strength balladry. Up to this album, while most musicians recognized Rollins as one of the new influential forces in the jazz of the '50s, most critics were carping at Rollins or damning him with faint praise. "St. Thomas," a traditional West Indian melody which Mal Waldron remembered as "The Carnival," was recorded by many artists after Sonny introduced it here, and it remains a jazz standard today. The contributions of Tommy Flanagan's elegant swing, Doug Watkins's steady lift, and Max Roach's most musical accompaniment and soloing (hear "Blue 7") make this a landmark album. Cut from the analogue masters by renowned mastering engineer Kevin Gray 200-gram pressing by Quality Record Pressings has a flat edge profile and deep groove label, true to the original LP Deluxe high-gloss tip-on album jacket

Customer Reviews

Without a doubt, one of the five best jazz albums ever made is this 1956 masterpiece.
Jeffrey Harris
I'm writing this review to simply let everyone know that the Bonus tracks on this album really just make this a Double album.
Saxman
This album is a treasure of the jazz genre and should be in every music lovers collection.
James W. Unger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Harris on May 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, one of the five best jazz albums ever made is this 1956 masterpiece. Recorded in a single day at Rudy Van Gelder's living room/studio, Sonny Rollins earned his place as a legend with "Saxophone Colossus". Aided and abetted by powerhouse drummer Max Roach, pianist Tommy Flanagan, and bassist Doug Watkins, the quartet plays with the precision of a chamber orchestra, and swings just as hard. It's not very often that you hear an album where the musicians are so in tune with each other. From the breezy sway of "St. Thomas" to the final notes of "Blue 7", Rollins and company shows how it should be done. This newly remastered edition finally sounds as great as the original vinyl pressing but without the hefty price you'll shuck out for an original copy. No serious jazz fan should be without a copy of this amazing album in their collection.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fineberg on September 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The question of who was the greater tenor sax player--Rollins or John Coltrane--continues even today. Let's look at it this way...in 1956, Coltrane was gaining prominence in Miles Davis' quintet, but he was far from being a great player. He did not yet have the technique to express the wild ideas in his brain. A year later, however, he went to play with Thelonious Monk's quartet, and the experience liberated him and his style. Only at that point could he truly hold his own against Rollins, who was already a mature player by 1956. Compared side by side, it seems Coltrane recorded more bona fide classic albums than Rollins, but I don't believe any of them are as consistently great as "Saxophone Colossus" ("Giant Steps" comes closest). Rollins' playing throughout the album is extraordinary, especially on the last number, "Blue 7", a strange blues improvisation which features one of Max Roach's fiercest drum solos. Tommy Flanagan plays piano, and he is known to double the quality of any album he plays on. Doug Watkins plays the bass, and he's got a nice sense of swing...one wonders why he only solos on one tune--"Moritat". But the star is Rollins, who is on fire from the word go. Clarity, coherence, speed, imagination and unpredictability are his weapons, and they make this probably the best saxophone record ever.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. Hutchinson on November 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Having never heard of Analog productions before I was a bit reluctant to spend almost $30 for this hybrid SACD, but decided to try it out. This is the most impressed I have been by a Super Audio CD since "Kind of Blue". Very good presence and none of the stridence which can interfere with my enjoyment of tenor sax at times. Analogue productions has very high production values indeed. They claim on the label that the high quality of the sound is due to their proprietary all-tube tape mastering equipment with the latest DSD transfer technology. I will buy more SACD's from them starting with another Sonny - "Way Out West". I may buy their whole catalog :-).
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Howard on September 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The brilliance of this album has been stated many times by people with more jazz knowledge than me. However I thought I should echo what the other reviewer states here: there are some minor problems with this disc. Specifically, there is a flutter on the 4th track "Moritat." I thought I heard it 3-4 different times. It doesn't ruin the music, but you might be tempted to return the disc. The RVG series is stellar so I'm assuming it's a problem with the masters. If that's not the problem then it may be in the manufacturing. Mildly disappointing...

I would like to put in a quick mention of the genius of Max Roach. His technique on the ride cymbal is revolutionary. I could write an essay on it myself! All in all, this is one of my all-time favorite jazz albums.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on March 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sonny Rollins , considered by many to be the quintessential live performer, admittedly felt restricted in a studio. However listening to his masterpiece Saxophone Colossus it is clear that he was on this occasion able to capture some of the energy of a live performance on vinyl. The record is a tour-du-force of Rollins musical vision and mastery of improvisational inventiveness within a melodic and harmonic form that draws the listener in chorus after chorus.
Max Roach's drumming drives every track particularly the classic St Thomas. Roach and Rollins trade 4's on Blue 7 and play off of each other beautifully throughout. Tommy Flanagan's piano playing is subtle and perfectly suited to this group.
This is my favorite Rollins recording other than those made with Clifford Brown and Max Roach's group.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Sonny Rollins solidified his claim to the top tenor spot of the late 1950's with albums like, "Way Out West" and this one. His tone is warm, full, and flawless as he swings his way through this set with Max Roach on drums, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass. The calypso flavored "St Thomas" opens the disc and is a textbook example of what makes Rollins great. His playing is effortless, relaxed, and flawless. He displays a soft touch with sensetive interpretation of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is", and kicks it back into high gear with the hard charging uptempo "Strode Rode". He displays his talent for uncovering unconventional material with a selection from a German musical here titled "Moritat". The final track is the jazz masterpiece "Blue7". Featuring masterful solos by Roach and Rollins this track leaves one feeling Sonny is cooler than most people could hope to be. Saxophone Colossus is one of those rare albums that is packed with legendary performances and future standards, flawless from top to bottom. This cd is essential and is guaranteed to delight.
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