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Sonny Rollins Plus 4
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Besides, after you listen to his cover of the chestnut "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," you might decide that length is overrated. The tune consumes a mere 2 minutes, 29 seconds. But during that brief time, Rollins not only has enough time to beautifully sketch the melody, but also to construct an airtight solo that sounds like a definitive statement on the theme. Like a great meal, it doesn't leave you wanting more; instead, you're perfectly satisfied. It also shows that Rollins, a mere 26 when "Plus 4" was recorded, was well on his way to becoming a saxophone giant.
"Plus 4" also finds Rollins in fine company. The great Clifford Brown's trumpet playing makes us regret again his all-too-early departure. He and Rollins sound like they could have made a dozen good records together had Brown lived. Max Roach delivers his usual impeccable time keeping and solo voice, and Richie Powell contributes a sprightly presence on piano, particularly on "Kiss and Run."
If you find yourself wanting a heavier Rollins meal after this one, check out his "Complete Prestige Recordings" (7 discs), which includes the tunes from "Plus 4."
Never has the quintet sounded mightier: never had Sonny Rollins sounded so comfortable riding the soundscapes of a rhythm section, never had Clifford Brown ventured into such great lands (such as a solo only accompanied by walking bass), never had Richie Powell played with such confidence and rhythmic fluency, never had George Morrow set such a rock-solid bass undertone, and of course, never had Max Roach been so active, busy, and attention-demanding on the drumset. "Sonny Rollins Plus Four" sees him leading the famous quintet through new, fascinating, and smoking-hot repertoire.
While this may be the Brown-Roach quintet featuring Clifford Brown in one of his three sidemen appearances, make no mistake that this is Sonny Rollins' album and that his sound is the focus of its music. Sonny Rollins is jazz's most famous adventurer into the realm of waltzing in ¾ time, kick-started by his remarkable composition "Valse Hot." This is probably one of the very first times that the quintet's members had ever played (and soloed!) in a waltz setting, but they don't get lost in the least - they plow right through its bouncy lilt. Rollins' other composition on the album, "Pent-Up House," is another famous tune that has made its way into the Real Book, being an expert study and test in the II-V-I turnaround. Pent-Up House features possibly Clifford Brown's best solo on record; with such rhythmically mature phrasing, it almost sounds like it was written ahead of time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clifford Brown had reached the peak of his powers by the time he particated in this rare Sonny Rollins session for Prestige just months before his untimely end. Read morePublished on February 13, 2012 by Buick60
Jazz in true artistic form is on this cd. Clifford Brown probably the best trumpeter and Sonny Rollins definitely the best tenor sax ever come together and swing off of each others... Read morePublished on July 17, 2002 by Kenneth B
This album is probably the best jazz cd I own. The solos by Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, and Richie Powell are awesome, especially when Clifford and Sonny trade fours. Read morePublished on August 27, 2000