Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus {Prestige}[xrcd]

Review by Scott Yanow (

Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of “St. Thomas,” tears into the chord changes of “Mack the Knife” (here called “Moritat”), introduces “Strode Rode,” is lyrical on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and constructs a solo on “Blue Seven” that practically defines his style. Essential music that, as with all of Rollins’ Prestige recordings, has also been reissued as part of a huge “complete” box set; listeners with a tight budget are advised to pick up this single disc and be amazed.

01 – St. Thomas
02 – You Don’t Know What Love Is
03 – Strode Rode
04 – Moritat
05 – Blue Seven

Sonny Rollins – tenor sax
Tommy Flanagan – piano
Doug Watkins – bass
Max Roach – drums

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey; June 22, 1956.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, scans