180 gram vinyl LP in Gatefold packaging
"Saxophone Colossus", recorded on June 22, 1956, presents Sonny Rollins leading an all-star quartet that includes pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach. The album enjoyed great critical success from the start and helped establish Rollins as a prominent jazz artist.
Renowned critic Ralph J. Gleason gave the album a five-star rating in Down Beat, stating that: “Almost as if in answer to the charge that there is a lack of grace and beauty in the work of the New York hard-swingers comes this album in which Rollins displays humor, gentleness, a delicate feeling for beauty in line, and a puckish sense of humor. I find this entire album excellent on all counts and for all persons concerned (the recorded sound is a gas, by the way).”
The album also received five stars in All Music Guide, with Scott Yanow writing that, “Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of ‘St. Thomas,’ and tears into the chord changes of ‘Mack the Knife’ (here called ‘Moritat’). Essential music.”
SONNY ROLLINS, tenor sax
TOMMY FLANAGAN, piano
DOUG WATKINS, bass
MAX ROACH, drums
Hackensack, New Jersey, June 22, 1956.
01 SAINT THOMAS
02 YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS
03 STRODE RODE
02 BLUE 7