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Volume Two (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Sonny Rollins Audio CD

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Sonny Rollins is a saxophone colossus. The revered tenor saxophonist first received that appellation via the name of his 1956 Prestige Records album. Even then, at age 26, the title seemed fitting. He had already played and/or recorded with bebop giants Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and J.J. Johnson—and had established himself as the prominent young voice on ... Read more in Amazon's Sonny Rollins Store

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Volume Two (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) + Sonny Rollins- Volume 1 (Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
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CD Rudy Van Gelder Remaster/24 Bit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollins in his prime, and in good company. 21 May 2001
By Dan Carlin - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Many jazz fans and critics fawn all over "Saxophone Colossus" as the definitive Sonny Rollins album, but on "Colossus" it seems to me the elegance of the compositions and the crispness of the solos sound almost artificial. There is a telling lack of spare notes in the solos--a sign of missing spontaneity--and in attempting perfection, Rollins and co. ended up sounding a little cold. No such problem on "Volume 2" in which the stunning line-up rolls from one brilliant and virtuosic solo to the next. The album begins with a swinging studder in "Why Don't I" which quickly shifts into a scorching up-tempo hard bop number. Rollins shows his remarkable dexterity especially well on "Wail March" which also features the brilliant trombonist J.J. Johnson, who plays his unwieldy trombone more nimbly than most trumpet players. And "You Stepped out of a Dream" is simply one of the most exciting pieces Rollins ever recorded, with stunning solos from the whole group. Indeed, with the rest of the combo including Art Blakey on drums, Horace Silver AND Thelonius Monk tickling the ivories and the great Paul Chambers on bass, this album had all the potential to be Rollins' best. I'm tempted to say that it is ("Live at the Village Vanguard" gives me pause).
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintet of jazz legends with Rollins at the helm 28 Jun 2000
By hyperbolium - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Though this LP isn't held in the same regard as Rollins' 1950s works for Prestige and Riverside, it's the disc that turned me on to his playing (and Thelonius Monk;'s and Horace Silver's). Thanks to Joe Jackson for apeing the cover on his own "Body and Soul" LP for inciting me to look this one up.
The all-star lineup, including Monk, Silver, J.J. Johnson, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey went a long way in defining this era's jazz for me. And Monk's stupendous "Misterioso" is something I listen to over and over again - not least of which to hear Monk and Silver's dueling solos. Similarly, the revival of Rollins' own "Wail March" adds something new to his earlier recording, as does a new interpretation of "You Stepped Out of a Dream."
One of a few jazz albums that I relisten to with regularity.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollins caught "in the moment" 30 Jan 2001
By Samuel Chell - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Of all of Rollins' albums this is my personal favorite. Despite being a studio album, it captures the fire and passion and serendipitous inventiveness that are the hallmarks of his best playing in person. Along with Rollins, the chemistry of J.J. Johnson as 2nd horn player, of both Horace and Monk (on the same track!), and of the forever insistent Art Blakey is an unusually potent mix. And who better to capture the explosive result than jazz' and Blue Note's ace recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder? More than the "classic" Rollins of "Blue 7," "Tenor Madness," "The Bridge," etc., this is living testimony to the power of the man's playing. "Why Don't I" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream," in particular, are likely to produce the same amount of adrenaline today as when the album was first released.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume Two 14 Nov 2004
By Tom B. - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Sonny's most satisfying Blue Note album features an all-star group ( Sonny on tenor, J.J Johnson on trombone, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and the great Art Blakey on drums). Every musician on this album went on to great fame in the jazz world, so if you're a serious jazz fan, then just seeing the personnel will make you want to buy this. The band on this cd isn't the only good thing, though, the track selection is just superb. "Why Don't I" and "Wail March" are two engaging Rollins originals,and it confuses me majorly why he didn't record them more. "Misterioso", the famous Thelonious Monk tune, is definitely the most known performance on this cd, due primarily to the fact that this is the only time in history where piano greats Monk and Silver peform on the same track. It truly is fascinating to compare their very different styles. "Reflections" is one of Monk's most beautiful ballads and this performance really shows Rollins's sensitive side. "You Stepped Out of a Dream" is a blazing tour de force which showcases the superior solo techniques of Rollins and J.J. and at the end they engage in a great conversation with Blakey. The album ends very gently with an amazing version of "Poor Butterfly" which once again showcases Sonny's sensitive side. This definitely qualifies as one of the best albums of both Sonny's career and Blue Note in general, so if you're a fan of "Saxophone Colossus" or other Sonny albums, or just a casual fan of jazz, then "Volume Two" is right up your alley.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't beat this line up 22 Jun 2000
By Erik Berkule - Published on
Format:Audio CD
While this is a Sonny Rollins led group, you have to talk about the members each individually because it is a bunch of absolute all-stars. Jay Jay Johnson is probably the greatest jazz trombonist of all time and he is in top form on this recording. Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk in the same room is a wonderful vision for a jazz fan, but to have them playing on the same record is unbelievable. Paul Chambers keeps this group together in the rhythm section like a watchful lion and her young cubs. Art Blakey, premiere drummer and powerful presence is showing his stuff as well.
Of course, Mr. Rollins shows up to play, and boy is it a treat. At certain points you feel like the room might explode from all of the fire power.
My favorite track is Misterioso because it is just beautifully written and allows so much room for great improvisation. If you are new or old to jazz, this line up is just one you can't pass up.
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