In 2010 we thought this two-fer had very good sound for the music contained therein. Here is what we had to say all those years ago:
This Prestige Two-Fer Double LP has FOUR GREAT SIDES with each rating an A+ or better. The stand out sides here are two and four, both rating an A++. Both sides are EXCELLENT and very lively with lots of energy and presence. Side one rates an A+ has a wonderfully extended top end and side three rates an A+ – A++ with clean and clear sound and huge breathy horns.
The album is a compilation of three major sessions from 1956, all with both Sonny Rollins and Max Roach.
“Saxophone Colossus, the album that really made the jazz public fully aware of the majestic talents of Sonny Rollins, is combined here with seven other great performances from the same highly creative period in the long career of this major artist.”
Well, it turns out that in 2010 we had a lot to learn.
We were about to do a shootout for Saxophone Colossus about five years ago, and we decided to pull out some of the two-fer pressings we had sitting in the backroom to see how they would hold up against the early pressings we liked, which you can read about here.
It did not go well. The album sounded like a cheap reissue, which of course it is, but many cheap reissues sound great, so we never hold the price of the record against it when deciding whether or not it is worth cleaning and auditioning. There are scores of budget jazz reissues from the 70s and 80s that sound great, some of them two-fer pressings.
Just not this one. It’s passable at best, and a very far cry from what the best pressings can sound like.