- This Sonny Rollins classic finally returns to the site boasting superb sound on both sides of this original Impulse stereo pressing
- A triumph for Rudy Van Gelder, a Top Impulse Title, and as much a showcase for Oliver Nelson as it is for Sonny Rollins
- 4 1/2 Stars: “Rollins attempts to capture the textures of life through his incisive and energetic playing, his coherent improvisations, and variations on musical themes.”
- If you’re a fan of Sonny Rollins, this Impulse from 1966 surely belongs in your collection.
This album is on the TAS Super Disc list, which is probably what first alerted me to it. I know I was listening to this album decades ago, just from the memory of hearing it in the condo I used to live in. It sounded great back then and it sounds even better now! It may just be my personal favorite of all his work.
What makes this album so great? For starters, great players. Kenny Burrell is wonderful as always. Interestingly, I never realized that Roger Kellaway is the pianist on these sessions. I saw him live years ago with Benny Carter (who was 90 at the time) and he put on one of the most amazing performances at the piano I have ever seen. For some reason, he was never able to make it as a recording artist, but the guy is a genius at the keyboard.
Of course, any orchestration by Oliver Nelson is going to be top flight and this is no exception. Two of his records are Must Owns, in my book: Jimmy Smith’s Bashin’ and his own The Blues and the Abstract Truth. No jazz collection without them can be taken seriously.