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The Sound Of Sonny Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Last Time I Saw Paris; It Could Happen to You; Cutie , and the rest of this 1957 landmark (with Sonny Clark, Percy Heath, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes) are now joined by the bonus track Funky Hotel Blues !
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2007)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Riverside
  • ASIN: B000UDQR4K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,079 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"The Sound of Sonny" is Sonny Rollins' first and only recording with one of my all-time favorite bop pianists, Sonny Clark. While this date was cut for Riverside (during three days in June of 1957), the lineup of Clark, either Paul Chambers or Percy Heath on bass and Roy Haynes on drums makes you think it would be a Blue Note session. In fact, Sonny was with Blue Note at this time and "The Sound of Sonny" was recorded in between Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2 and Newk's Time (see my review). Regardless of labels, this disc is a classic. Like most Sonny albums from this period, 80% of the material here is standards. However, it is a perfect blend of familiar and seldom heard standards, up-tempo grooves and touching ballads. Of particular interest here is Sonny's first unaccompanied solo recording ("It Could Happen To You"). The CD also features a bonus selection not on the original vinyl release, "Funky Hotel Blues," which along with "Cutie" are the album's only Rollins compositions. I know there a lot of classic Sonny Rollins discs from 1955-58 to choose from (it was arguably his greatest period), but "The Sound Of Sonny" ranks right up there with the best of them.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Sonny on RIVERSIDE in 1957, when as the liners say, he was undisputedly ruling the DOWNBEAT critic's poll and at the top of his form.

I like this album because Sonny hits on some better known standards, but turns them into vehicles for his rich imagination as a leader and soloist... the tunes are catchy even before his solos (with the opening moments of JUST IN TIME bordering on almost weird), but once he starts soloing, things swing... majorly...

The rhythm section needless to say is fitting... Sonny Clark on piano, Percy Heath and Paul Chambers on bass, Roy Haynes on drums. Sonny's tricky rhythms have Sonny C. laying out on THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS - - I guess the man from St. Thomas could baffle the best !

What I love about this album is that it demonstrates what an engaging player Sonny is and was... regardless of the tempo or tune he really gets your attention... even before the solos... I also like how he clearly states the melodies to the tunes, yet put his own things into it. The solos can be very simplistic yet hard driving at the same time... at other times, he'll lay a flurry of notes on you... That was another strength of his... to play on space and time and do it cleverly, yet always deep within the pocket. He was definitely one of the few immediate post-Parker players who had his own rhythmic thing going... a big fat fluent swingin' sound that makes you pay attention to each and every moment... and again, cute and clever ideas for the arrangements, showing the reason why he was a LEADER and not a sideman...

The album includes two particularly special treats: He plays SOLO (not *a* solo, but solo) on IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, so you can really get to dig what he was about... and there's one original composition called CUTIE.
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Format: Audio CD
Rollins' prolific output makes it hard to keep track of some of this earlier work. To me this one is spectacular, if for no other reason than track 8 on which he plays solo. I could babble on about this album, but would probably come across as a pretentious jerk, so let the sound samples sell you on it if you are on the fence.

To me every track is worth playing and playing again. The line-up changes on each of the three sessions that produced this album. It's if Rollins is continuously experimenting. The first session was recorded on June 11, 1957. It features Rollins backed by Sonny Clark on piano (and a real treat to hear), Percy Heath on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. The tracks from this session are 5, 6 and 8 with Clark, Heath and Haynes on 5 and 6 and Rollins solo on 8.

On the second session (June 12, 1957) Rollins is again backed by Clark, Heath and Haynes, who are on all four tracks recorded that day (2, 3, 4 and 9).

The final session was recorded on June 19, 1957 and has Rollins backed by Clark and Haynes, with Paul Chambers taking over the bass duties. On this one the full ensemble plays on tracks 1 and 10, but Rollins uses only Chambers and Haynes on track 4. This is not unusual because he had pioneered the piano-less trio using drums and bass three months earlier on the album titled Way Out West. It worked on that album and it works on these tracks.

This album was recorded for Riverside at the Reeves Sound Studios in NYC and released the same year as catalog number RLP 12-241. Track 10 was not on the original LP release. It is one of the delightful gems that I discovered when I was digging into Rollins' earlier recordings and one I recommend to fans.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What led me to this CD, Riverside's The Sound of Sonny, was not so much Sonny Rollins as Sonny Clark, the multi-talented pianist/composer, one of my favorite jazz musicians. After repeated listenings, however, my interest in and respect for Sonny Rollins has deepened and this CD now sits alongside a small collection of Rollins' albums.

Of the nine tracks on the album, all but one are standards. Joining Clark in the excellent rhythm section are Percy Heath and Paul Chambers on bass and Roy Hayes on drums.

As a relative latecomer to 1950s jazz of the bebop and hard-bop genres, I've sought assistance from writers such as Peter Niklas Wilson, whose Sonny Rollins: The Definitive Musical Guide has proved very helpful regarding what he judges to be the best among Rollins' output.

Wilson sums up this album thusly: "These are brief, well-ordered pieces, which... show obvious care in their arrangement and rehearsal." "The tracks are also carefully chosen. They were meant to be standards (only 'Cutie' is a Rollins original), but not warhorses. They include instead tunes most jazz musicians had left by the wayside. Among these were such pieces as the contemporary Rosemary Clooney hit Mangoes and the old Al Jolson number Toot, Toot, Tootsie -- unexpected for jazz audiences and musicians, but representative of Rollins' trans-genre repertoire."

Among his insightful comments about The Sound of Sonny are the following: "In Sonny Clark, Rollins found not only a namesake, but also a precise, trenchant pianist, whose spare, judicious comping leaves the saxophonist plenty of room.
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