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Plus Four [Import]

Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach Audio CD

Price: 11.21
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Valse Hot (Album Version)Clifford Brown 8:35Album Only
Listen  2. Kiss And Run (Album Version) [feat. Richie Powell]Sonny Rollins 7:07Album Only
Listen  3. I Feel A Song Coming On [feat. Richie Powell]Sonny Rollins 5:120.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep) (Album Version) [feat. Richie Powell]Sonny Rollins 2:280.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Pent-Up House (Album Version) [feat. Richie Powell]Sonny Rollins 8:53Album Only

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only problem is it's too short 13 Mar 2000
By Tyler Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
You might be disappointed in the length of this CD, as it checks in at a mere 32 minutes. Sure, in the days of vinyl that was acceptable, but we spoiled CD buyers have come to expect 45-75 minutes per disc. Rest assured that although you'll want more music at the conclusion of "Plus 4," every minute that you spend with Sonny and company will be time well spent.
Besides, after you listen to his cover of the chestnut "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," you might decide that length is overrated. The tune consumes a mere 2 minutes, 29 seconds. But during that brief time, Rollins not only has enough time to beautifully sketch the melody, but also to construct an airtight solo that sounds like a definitive statement on the theme. Like a great meal, it doesn't leave you wanting more; instead, you're perfectly satisfied. It also shows that Rollins, a mere 26 when "Plus 4" was recorded, was well on his way to becoming a saxophone giant.
"Plus 4" also finds Rollins in fine company. The great Clifford Brown's trumpet playing makes us regret again his all-too-early departure. He and Rollins sound like they could have made a dozen good records together had Brown lived. Max Roach delivers his usual impeccable time keeping and solo voice, and Richie Powell contributes a sprightly presence on piano, particularly on "Kiss and Run."
If you find yourself wanting a heavier Rollins meal after this one, check out his "Complete Prestige Recordings" (7 discs), which includes the tunes from "Plus 4."
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one Sonny Rollins CD, make it "Plus 4." 3 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'll never understand the pattern of Amazon.com jazz listeners. "Saxophone Colossus" is heralded and revered by you, but "Plus 4" is buried way down with the also-rans. There's no explanation for the difference in reception between the two. This is one of the best cd's you'll ever own. "Varse Hot," "Kiss and Run," and "Pent-Up House" are just masterful. The interactions between sax and trumpet complement each other so well, and the tunes really swing. You'll just love it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Masterwork 4 Jan 2003
By George H. Soule - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although under Sonny Rollins' name, the quintet on this masterpiece is the Brown-Roach Quintet, featuring (as Pee Wee at Birdland would have it) "the trumpet sensation, Clifford Brown." Thankfully, Prestige recorded the group in March 1956 so that Rollins and Brown were captured ensemble. The record is brief, but important. The disc begins with Rollins' "Valse Hot" a jazz waltz that features fine solos by Rollins and Brown followed by Richie Powell on piano and a Max Roach drum solo. "Kiss and Run" features a fine Rollins solo and a driving virtuoso performance by Brown spurred by Roach's masterful drumming. The Powell solo is commanding and lyrical and the traded breaks by Rollins, Roach, and Brown are almost the equal of the dialogue between Rollins and Brown that conclude this track. These interchanges are cause enough to own the disc. But the great stuff doesn't end there. "I Feel a Song Coming On" begins with a breakneck Rollins solo followed by Brownie at peak tempo and inventiveness. Max' solo is tasteful and explosive and there is another Rollins/Brown dialog that's quick and clean. "Count Your Blessings" features Rollins as a balladeer and it's apt testimony to the lessons that he had learned from Lester Young as well as Charlie Parker. Lyrical and inventive, it simply swings. The disc concludes with "Pent-Up House," a Rollins original that fairly explodes with improvisation and vitality. This was one of the great jazz groups, unfortunately ended with the untimely deaths of Powell and Brown. This disc is a fit companion to the "Brown-Roach Quintet at Basin Street" (January-February 1956) and any serious collection should contain both.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...And boy are they a good four! 14 Mar 2008
By trumpet mercenary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Alas, the Brown-Roach Quintet didn't record exclusively for EmArcy! This gem was recorded for Prestige and tends to be overlooked in favor of the more famous material owned by Mercury. Prestige is the record label most notable for its blowing sessions, which is exactly why you want to hear this group in that mold.

Never has the quintet sounded mightier: never had Sonny Rollins sounded so comfortable riding the soundscapes of a rhythm section, never had Clifford Brown ventured into such great lands (such as a solo only accompanied by walking bass), never had Richie Powell played with such confidence and rhythmic fluency, never had George Morrow set such a rock-solid bass undertone, and of course, never had Max Roach been so active, busy, and attention-demanding on the drumset. "Sonny Rollins Plus Four" sees him leading the famous quintet through new, fascinating, and smoking-hot repertoire.

While this may be the Brown-Roach quintet featuring Clifford Brown in one of his three sidemen appearances, make no mistake that this is Sonny Rollins' album and that his sound is the focus of its music. Sonny Rollins is jazz's most famous adventurer into the realm of waltzing in time, kick-started by his remarkable composition "Valse Hot." This is probably one of the very first times that the quintet's members had ever played (and soloed!) in a waltz setting, but they don't get lost in the least - they plow right through its bouncy lilt. Rollins' other composition on the album, "Pent-Up House," is another famous tune that has made its way into the Real Book, being an expert study and test in the II-V-I turnaround. Pent-Up House features possibly Clifford Brown's best solo on record; with such rhythmically mature phrasing, it almost sounds like it was written ahead of time.

Now, the reason this album is so overlooked by critics and fans alike is because it doesn't implement the art of "revolutionizing" that so many listeners clamor for. In a way, this is true - it is simply a blowing session issued by Prestige to get some cash. However, there are two forms of a classic album - one so stunningly forward-thinking and different that it merits gold status on its own uniqueness, or one that's just so damn good and features musicians so talented that it can't help but be a classic on its own music. "Plus Four" falls into the latter category.

If you're a true Rollins fanatic (read: freak), you won't be looking at this - you'll already have it as a part of Prestige's 11-CD boxed set "The Complete Prestige Recordings." Since that compilation features so many other amazing sessions (such as Tenor Madness, the sessions with Miles and Bird, and the music with Art Farmer), you'd be wise to opt for that over its individual sessions. If you're strapped for cash or just want to hear this edition of the Brown-Roach Quintet in its jam session mode, no shame in going for Plus Four.

While this album features two original compositions, there are three standards as well - and the best one is "I Feel a Song Coming On." It's exactly what it sounds like - a quiet storm, the pedal Bb increasing in magnitude, the group finally exploding in a straight-four barn-burning dance. They cut the rug with effervescent solos and shoot the music up into the hills and beyond.
This is beyond most of the albums that the Brown-Roach Quintet cut, possibly being the second best behind "At Basin Street." "Plus Four" sees Rollins taking his musicians to the limit and over the waves of the great musical sea, waves whispering about the isles of incredibly weaved sax lines and sparkling trumpet tones.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ 28 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album is probably the best jazz cd I own. The solos by Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, and Richie Powell are awesome, especially when Clifford and Sonny trade fours. A must have album!
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