Thursday, October 06, 2016

Lambic Jazz Vol. 4

saxophone trio
On the cards tonight is the 3 disc set - Sonny Rollins Trio: Live in Europe 1959
Sonny Rollins (ts) Henry Grimes (b) Pete LaRoca, Joe Harris, Kenny Clarke (d)

I have fond memories of this recording. I hadn't been keeping an eye out for it and was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon it last week. A little background.....During my mid teens, if I was in town for a saxophone lesson or just hanging out in the city, often I would head to the Wellington City Library to listen to albums in the jazz collection. Not long after picking up a copy of Saxophone Colossus, one of these library visits led me to a vinyl copy of St. Thomas: The Sonny Rollins Trio Live in Stockholm 1959. It grabbed me, and on subsequent visits it was, more often than not, on the playlist.

The first seven tracks of disc 1 (my focus tonight) were on St Thomas but the rest of the set is new to me. I really can't remember the last time I heard these recordings. I was shocked at how much I remembered from those library listening sessions many moons ago. I remember copying the way Sonny plays the melody on "How High the Moon" and lifting his semi-tone shift on "There Will Never Be Another You" and using it a few years later in a big band arrangement I wrote for an arranging class. Back then my attention was firmly on Rollins but this time around my ears gravitated towards the bass playing of Henry Grimes. Although Sonny is out front (the star of the show), Grimes still gets plenty room to move. Plus his walking lines and hook up with Pete LaRoca make a great contribution to the music here. I will say that something I have noticed about my more recent listening vs when I was younger - these days I pay more attention to each of the individuals and the ensemble as a whole rather than exclusively focussing on the saxophone player.

I'm looking forward to the second and third disc. And based off the first disc, this set is a must-have for fans of the saxophone trio and Rollins in particular.

As it turns out, Wellington City Library has started stocking vinyl again (more info Here and Here). I have fond memories of grabbing a stack of recordings, donning the headphones and delving into something new.

Pre-class reading was the article on Spontaneous Music Ensemble from the latest issue of Wire and tonight's listening was accompanied by De Troch Winter Gueuze.

Previous weeks: Vol.1 -- Vol.2 -- Vol.3

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