Monster on the tenor Newk's Time is a tour de force of tenor saxophone improvisation and group cohesion. Boldly executed with a musical eloquence brimming with confidence and invention, the pieces recorded on this date are all great showcases for the talents of the musicians who made them.
The tightest, most intricately developed relationship is between Sonny and Philly Joe Jones. From the very opening "Tune Up", the Miles Davis tune, Philly Joe is creating this shimmering rhythmic power that Sonny draws upon to nurture his feverish imagination. And nowhere is the uniqueness of this relationship more persuasive than on the drums-and-sax duo of "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top". The two of them play so closely and densely that one is led to think that the piano and bass haven't abandoned them. But such thoughts are quickly dispelled on the next piece, "Blues for Philly Joe", where the warmth of Doug Watkins' bass kicks in with a great swinging pulse, and Wyn Kelly delivers a blues solo worthy of his finest moments.
The album is thoughtfully brought to a close with a ballad, "Namely You".