Sonny Rollins – Brass / Trio

More Sonny Rollins

  • An incredible sounding copy and the first to his the site in SEVEN years! Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides sound wonderful here — rich, full-bodied, Tubey Magical and musical with a solid bottom end
  • This is a very tough album to find with the right sound and surfaces; they’re usually beat to hell!
  • “In 1958 Sonny Rollins split an LP between two very different settings… [he] excels in both of these settings, making this an easily recommended set.” – All Music

This isn’t an easy album to come by and even when you find a clean one they tend to be noisy, and as you might expect not all of them sound all that good. Add in the fact that you’re always going to pay good money for a clean early pressing like this one, and you’ll realize that getting a great copy in your collection is not going to be an easy task. Unless of course you’d like to take this 100% Guaranteed Hot Stamper home for a spin — that’s probably the easiest (and cost-efficient) method. And who knows if we’ll ever find another copy like this one? Certainly we haven’t been able to find a good one for many years, and we’ve been doing this for a LONG time.

This vintage Verve pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1958
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Brass / Trio

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.


Side One

Who Care? 
Love is a Simple Thing
Grand Street 
Far Out East

Side Two

What’s My Name? 
If You Were the Only Girl in the World 
Body & Soul

AMG Review

In 1958 Sonny Rollins split an LP between two very different settings. On four selections he is backed by a big band arranged by Ernie Wilkins (Rollins’s appearances with big bands have been quite rare through the years) including Gershwin’s “Who Cares?” The flip side showcases the great tenor in a trio with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Charles Wright including “Manhattan,” one of the very few jazz versions of “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” and a brilliant unaccompanied performance of a song often associated with his idol Coleman Hawkins, “Body and Soul.” Rollins excels in both of these settings, making this an easily recommended set.