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Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders


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Audio CD, April 1, 1988
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I've Told Ev'ry Little Star 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rock A Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. How High The Moon 7:41Album Only
listen  4. You 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I've Found A New Baby 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I've Found A New Baby (Alternate Take) 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Alone Together 5:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. In The Chapel In The Moonlight 6:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Song Is You 5:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Song Is You (Alternate Take) 6:10$0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000YIX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,551 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Sonny Rollins's career "out West" in California was, at the time this session was recorded, confined mainly to playing live. He'd done one outstanding record with a California-based band (Out West) but found time to cut some tunes with Hampton Hawes, Leroy Vinnegar, Barney Kessel, and Shelly Manne. As Contemporary Records-founder Lester Koenig remarks in the liner notes, Rollins characteristically unpacked a massive sheaf of music from which to pull tunes for the session. Like Out West, the tunes are at least idiosyncratic. When's the last time a postbop pioneer played anything like "Rock-a-Bye Baby with a Dixie Melody"? And the guitar-bass-sax trio on "I've Found a New Baby" slides off pristinely with its walking bass line, sharp strums, and Rollins's array of tongue effects and wafting tone that comes off its floating plateau to pounce on the melody repeatedly. Rollins sounds enthralled to be in this company, playing big-bodied lines and fluid loops. This is exceptional Rollins, plain and simple. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Slaninka Frantisek on August 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is superb last studio session before Rollins almost 3 years gap. And it's from his artistic peak. He plays with great feeling sometimes very quick (The Song Is You) and sometimes economical (How High The Moon, I've found a new baby - with interesting one tone passage in mid part) but always perfect. But whole band plays great. Perfect production too . Like band's playing in my living room. I love similar productions, it's the best in jazz.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders" brings together some of the best and most popular West Coast Jazz musicians of the late 50s with the master tenor saxophonist. If you think the lineup of Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Leroy Vinegar and Shelly Manne is odd, wait until you see the repertoire! However, in all its unlikelyhood, it works, particularly with the guitar-bass-tenor sax trio on "How High the Moon" and on "You," which finds Victor Feldman sitting in with the band on vibes. The final track, "The Song Is You," explodes with a double-fast, double-time rhythm pulse. It's a fitting end for a leading effort by Sonny and the Leaders.
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Format: Audio CD
This is like being in West Coast jazz heaven, and is a fitting book end to Rollins' 1957 album titled Way Out West. There are a few twists in this one though. While the first West coast album was his debut as a piano-less trio, this one features Hampton Hawes on piano on all but one track, and adds Victor Feldman on vibraphone on track 4 (You).

Rollins' apparently was experimenting with ensemble formats because on How High the Moon he opts to be backed only by Barney Kessel on bass and West Coast legend Leroy Vinnegar on bass. For a trio without a pianist or drummer they have a surprisingly full sound. For some reason he dispenses with drums on In The Chapel In The Moonlight, and while I love Shelly Manne, the song works well without him.

The core ensemble is Rollins backed by Kessell, Hawes, Vinnegar and Manne, so it's like a who's who on that coast. Let the sound samples convey the essence of this album because they do so far better than I can with mere words. The bottom line is this is yet another glimpse into Rollins' ever evolving musical vision, experimentation and evolution. Personally I find that aspect fascinating, and the music superb.

Background: recorded for Contemporary in their Los Angeles studios in three consecutive sessions on October 20 through 22, 1958.
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