Recent listening, current

Friday, February 1, 2013

22. Sonny Rollins / Tenor Madness (1956)

It's great to hear Coltrane and Sonny Rollins working alongside one another. At the time of this recording, both players were up and coming, on the brink of changing jazz as we hear it today. On the title track "Tenor Madness," everyone is eager and gregarious. Coltrane goes first, offering a bright, slippery tone with more focused objectives. Sonny is next, spreading it around more with a deeper, wetter tone. The playing from both men is anything but a cutting contest. In fact, they sound relaxed and patient, as if casually trying out new ideas without worrying about the overhead. It's a quality session with some historic import, and an interesting footnote to fans of Miles or Monk, for obvious reasons. Tenor Madness is also interesting in that it contains Miles Davis' working group, but proceeds without his direction. In that regard, the product comes off as far less focused and lacking the inertia of Workin', Steamin' or Relaxin'.

No comments:

Post a Comment