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Way Out West Import
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 30, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
With that out of the way, onto the music itself: "Way Out West" was recorded in 1957 and finds Rollins playing in a piano-less trio backed only by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne. The liner notes to the album state that the three musicians hadn't played together before until this recording session. You'd never know it by listening to this album though. Rollins, Brown and Manne play off each other effortlessly and are like six hands in a glove. It's as if they'd played together for years.
On the upbeat tracks, "I'm an Old Cowhand", "Come Gone" and the title track, Rollins and his trio really swing and leave plenty of space for improvisation and soloing. "Come Gone" is an especially prime example of this.
The same can be said for the slower ballad-oriented pieces. Sonny's take on Duke Ellington's "Solitude" is superb and soothing and is a real standout. "Wagon Wheels", while not neccesarily a ballad, is also a standout with its mid-tempo blues-like runs.
Besides the original tracks that made up the album, there are also three alternate takes tacked on as bonus tracks. The alternate version of "I'm An Old Cowhand" is arguably stronger than its master take and is also twice as long running at 10 minutes rather than five and a half. The alternates of "Come Gone" and the title track are performed in such a way that they almost become different pieces of music altogether.Read more ›
Rollins was absolutely incandecent on "Come, Gone" and "There is No Greater Love". He also really injects some very wry, swinging humor into his renditions of "I'm An Old Cowhand", "Wagon Wheels" and "Way Out West". The man's artistic genius and humanity really shine in this recording. Highly recommended!
Way out West is a classic recording in every way, including the cover photo by William Claxton which shows Rollins dressed as a gunslinger in the desert holding his saxophone. The recording has been reissued many times. I am reviewing the most recent reissue in 2010, which has not been reviewed on Amazon before now. But the prior 1991 reissue garnered many exellent Amazon reviews from which I learned a great deal. In 1988, reissues of this recording began to include three alternative takes not included in the 1957 initial release, substantially expanding the length of the recording.
Way out West was recorded shortly after Rollins' famous album "Saxophone Collossus" and has unfortunately tended to remain in its shadow. It was a pioneering recording in its own right. Rollins did not use the piano and the opportunity for chordal background it afforded. Instead, the recording consisted of the trio of Rollins, tenor saxophone, Ray Brown, bass, and Shelly Manne, drums. The small combo and the absence of piano allowed for a tighter sound and increased opportunity for improvisation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Music is great, of corse, but mastering and pressing does not do justice to the original recording. Also cover is quite flimsy not worthy of this great recording. Read morePublished 7 months ago by LT Jazz
One of my best vinyl purchases of the year. Familiar with some but not all of Mr. Rollins' catalog, this was arguably the best place to start. Read morePublished 11 months ago by RDubya73
There are some excellent reviews going back to 2000 that cover this album exhaustively. My perspective is the format that Rollins came up with and used for the first time on one of... Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by Mike Tarrani
Music requires no comment. You already know how special it is. But the sound on this issue (with the 2010 Joe Tarantino remastering) is not quite as good as others out there. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Srelleka
To think that the musicians stayed up all night to record this, with almost no rehearsal time, what a performance = WOW.Published on October 28, 2013 by Mark K. Terhune
This remaster is appalling. It completely ruins the music by boosting the bass to the point that it overpowers everything else. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by Well Red
If you're looking at this review you should own this music. I don't know where this ranks in the jazz pantheon, but I would put it way up there. Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by hn
Sonny Rollins - Way Out West SACD
I will admit that I was shocked to see that there are THREE version of "Way Out West" on SACD..... Read more