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Tenor Madness by Sony Rollins

Prestige has recently reissued a spate of 1950s classics remastered by legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. It’s incredible to imagine RVG recording this date almost 50 years ago, and now re-mastering with today’s technology. The band is Miles Davis’ band sans Miles. The rhythm trio had already agreed to record with Rollins when the idea to invite Coltrane in for a battle arose, hence the title track "Tenor Madness." The tenor titans each have their say; I’ll let you decide if there is a winner.

The tempo moderates on the bluesy "When Your Lover Has Gone." Garland follows Rollins with a short but elegant solo, then Chambers and Jones both solo briefly before ending. "Paul’s Pal" starts with a Rollins solo followed by Chambers and Garland. Rollins and Jones trade fours to finish off the number. Rollins displays a gorgeous, breathy tone on the ballad "My Reverie," and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" closes the album on an upbeat note.

If you’re a first time buyer of this album and budget allows, indulge on the RVG edition. The improved sound and expanded liner notes are worth the few extra bucks. This is classic Rollins from a classic era on a classic label. You can’t go wrong!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Sony Rollins
  • CD Title: Tenor Madness
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Reissue Original Release: 1956
  • Record Label: Prestige
  • Rating: Five Stars
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