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A Night at the Village Vanguard (1957)

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Sonny Rollins

This CD is often magical. Sonny Rollins, one of jazz's great tenors, is heard at his peak with a pair of piano-less trios (either Wilbur Ware or Donald Bailey on bass and Elvin Jones or Pete La Roca on drums) stretching out on particularly creative versions of "Old Devil Moon," "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," "Sonnymoon for Two," and "A Night in Tunisia," among others. Not only did Rollins have a very distinctive sound but his use of time, his sly wit, and his boppish but unpredictable style were completely his own by 1957. A Night at the Village Vanguard was reissued in its entirety, complete with alternate takes, as a two-disc set in 1999; it was part of Blue Note's acclaimed Rudy VanGelder reissue series.] ~ Scott Yanow