Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet

Original Jazz Classics [OJC] / Prestige

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“Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet (PRLP 7029) (also released as Sonny & the Stars) is a 1956 album by jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, featuring his earliest recordings for the Prestige label under his leadership, including four tracks performed by Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet (John Lewis, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke), eight tracks where Kenny Drew and Art Blakey replace Lewis, Jackson, and Clarke, and one track with Miles Davis on piano. Tracks 5-11 and 13 were originally featured on the Prestige 10 inch LP Sonny Rollins Quartet (1952, PRLP 137), which is reissued in its entirety here. Track 12 was previously released on the various artists 10"LP Mambo Jazz (PRLP 135).

"I Know", featuring Miles Davis on piano, was recorded at the same session as four other tracks under Davis' name, using the same musicians, including the young Rollins. This was Davis' first recording session for Prestige Records, and his first working with Rollins. The producer Bob Weinstock tried to dissuade Davis from using Rollins at all, feeling he was not ready, but instead Davis persuaded the producer to let Rollins record a cut under his own name. The Davis tracks recorded that date were originally issued on the various artists 10"LP Modern Jazz Trumpets (PRLP 113), and are now more commonly available on the album Miles Davis and Horns (PRLP 7025).” - Wiki

“These represent Rollins' first recordings as a leader, and it's astonishing how fully formed his style was even early on in his career. The middle selections are agreeable hard bop tunes and standards, but nothing you haven't heard before (especially if you've heard Rollins' other records). Rollins was truly blessed with the rhythm section of Kenny Drew, Percy Heath, and Art Blakey, who take a workmanlike approach to their duties, and the quartet seems to effortlessly glide through a variety of tunes.

The real treats are the tracks featuring the Modern Jazz Quartet, recorded two years later. The brash tenor of Rollins and the chamber music leanings of the MJQ may seem like an odd matchup, but the music has a depth and grace not heard on the other tracks due to Lewis' devotion to texture and composition. "In A Sentimental Mood" showcases Rollins' melodic gifts over a bed of shimmering vibes and sparse piano; "The Stopper" is a funky Rollins original with a little more edge than the MJQ may have preferred. Rollins sounds more assured and confident, and we can see glimmers of the gentlemanly approach to jazz the MJQ would patent a year later with Django.” - All About Jazz

Item description:


Sonny Rollins


Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet


Original Jazz Classics [OJC] / Prestige


Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue



Release Date:

This reissue: - | Original - 1956





Catalog No:

OJC-011 | P-7029