SONNY ROLLINS is the first major influence on a significant number of young tenors since the Stan Getz of the late forties and early fifties. Unlike the mesmeric Getz of that period, Sonny’s approach is far from cool, and he is seldom lyrical. Sonny’s style is hot, driving, deeply pulsating, and is rooted in Charlie Parker and before Bird, Coleman Hawkins. In an intriguing genealogical chart at the end of an essay on Rollins by Ira Gitler for Prestige, Gitler points out that Charlie Rouse, the contemporary Allen Eager, J.R. Monterose, Hank Mobley, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Phil Urso have all been shaped in part in the forge of Rollins’ style.
“I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger.”
—Rudy Van Gelder
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