Selection: Strode Rode (Rollins)
Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone) Tommy Flanagan (piano) Doug Watkins (bass) Max Roach (drums) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, June 22, 1956
We have been flirting recently with big band, solo performance, new for old, avant gard, I thought it time we make space for some straight classic err, whatever you label Rollins. Ah yes, Jazz.
Difficult to think of anything to say anything that hasn’t already been said many times over by everyone else. So I bring you an album that needs no introduction…
The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow calls the album “arguably his finest all-around set”.[Author and musician Peter Niklas Wilson called it “another milestone of the Rollins discography, a recording repeatedly cited as Rollins’ chef d’oeuvre, and one of the classic jazz albums of all time”.
But then you knew that, didn’t you? (Chef Rollins?)
Vinyl: Prestige 7079 second issue NJ Fireworks label 156gm
Reason for Post: UPGRADE! UPGRADE! UPGRADE!
At last were beginning to get something right. Not totally – we still have only the Bergenfield NJ “second” pressing
What came before was a very hissy 1963 gold label issue PRLP 7326. Notice the frantic renumbering of the reissue – standard Prestige practice, unlike Blue Note. Mono switch on the phono amp does help to take the edge off the hiss, but you would still rather it was not there
There is something ironic about a “Gold Edition” pressed on recycled vinyl. Where to next Weinstock – The Platinum Edition, on pressed on coarse grit sandpaper? Solution: simple! Upgrade. There are very few problems in life that money can’t solve, though often that merely exchanges one problem for another. How often do you see an affordable copy? Well, I was pleased to find the Bergenfield – as close as I can sensibly expect .
Not cheap, but not crippling.
What people value is their own business, but sometimes you have to say, how much pleasure can an address give? Obviously quite a lot, to judge by the fist full of dollars thrust at the NYC first edition of Saxophone Colossus
I feel pretty smug with my Bergenfield, but how long that lasts may depend on your answer to a quick “Ownership Poll”.
Question: Which editions of Saxophone Colossus do you currently own at least one copy of? Any you’ve sold in the past don’t count it. Has to be on your shelf right now.
I just have to know. May be you don’t have a copy (and you call yourself a Jazz Collector?) but if its true, own up. If it’s the Evil Silver Disk, don’t worry, you are among friends (snigger). If you had it and sold it to one of those above, congratulations on the good investment. Now place a thousand dollar bill on your turntable and tell me if it sounds as good.
Usual rules: anything vaguely related to this topic, comments welcome.
POSTSCRIPT: EUROPEAN 1ST EDITIONS
A quick look at Popsike revealed the alternative covers of Rollins Saxophone Colossus 1st European releases. Only Metronome were faithful to the original design.
And such a great design, how could they better it? I award Denmark the maximum ten points in this Eurovision Contest. Strangely, the French felt they needed to translate the title, but not the Italians. Il Colosso di Sassofoni doesn’t really add a lot. May be the French were trying to make a point.