Sonny Rollins – The Bridge

We found STUNNING sound for Sonny Rollins’ classic LP The Bridge this week, and as you might have guessed from the image to the left, it wasn’t on an original pressing! It’s beyond tough to find copies of this album on any label these days, but we had a big stack of pressings from different eras and auditioned them in a big shootout. We’ve paired up our best side one with our best side two to create this killer White Hot Stamper 2-pack. 

The originals we had on hand didn’t come close to the sound we heard on the A+++ sides of this 2-pack. The later pressings are a mixed bag, but the killer sides we’re offering here completely blew our minds. It’s been years since we heard this album sound anything like this. Let me tell you, it was a thrill to hear The Bridge with such big, natural sound.

Both of the White Hot sides boast superb, Demo Quality sound: super clean and clear; amazing size; serious immediacy; excellent clarity and transparency; real texture to the instruments; tons of energy; lots of depth to the soundfield and so forth. The sax sounds just right, played loud enough it’s almost as if you’re hearing the real instrument and not just a record.

The flipsides of the White Hot sides in this 2-pack were actually pretty good, each earning about an A+ grade. We probably could make more money selling the two copies separately, but we think this music is best enjoyed as a complete album. We imagine someone’s going to be thrilled to do that with White Hot Stamper A+++ sound throughout.

Sonny Rollins on The Bridge

In the 50s and 60s, Lucille and I had a small apartment on Grand Street on the Lower East Side of New York. It was a nice time. I had a lot of friends there and I was welcomed by the neighborhood people. Like most of New York, the Lower East Side has undergone gentrification but back then, it was a much more ethnic place.

I started practicing in the house because I had to practice, but I felt guilty because I’m a sensitive person and I know that people need quiet in their apartments.

I was walking on Delancey Street one day, not far from where I lived on Grand Street and I just happened to look up and see these steps that I decided to check out. And there, of course, was the bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge. It was this nice big expanse going over the East River. There was nobody up there. So I started walking across the bridge and said, “Wow. This is what I have been looking for. This is a private place. I can blow my horn as loud as I want.”

Because the boats are coming under, and the subway is coming across, and cars, and I knew it was perfect, just serendipity. Then, I began getting my horn and going up there regularly. I would be up there 15 or 16 hours at a time spring, summer, fall, and winter.


Side One

Without A Song 
Where Are You 
John S.

Side Two

The Bridge 
God Bless The Child 
You Do Something To Me

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ first recording after ending a surprising three-year retirement found the great saxophonist sounding very similar to how he had played in 1959, although he would soon start investigating freer forms.

In a pianoless quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Ben Riley, Rollins explores four standards (including “Without a Song” and “God Bless the Child”) plus two fiery originals (highlighted by the title cut). The interplay between Rollins and Hall is consistently impressive, making this a near-classic and a very successful comeback.