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Hey folks!

What do you think is the best recorded version of "Softly as in a Morning sunrise" for tenor sax for a late blooming would-be such as myself to go to school on?

What I mean is: played relatively "legit," but with some nice ideas on the tenor solo too.

Rory

ps. laaa laaa la lala lala laaa laaa:D
 

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DukeCity said:
My vote would be Sonny Rollins "Live at the Village Vanguard" from '57.
Ooooo yes!! Oooooo yes yes yes!! I'm not sure but i think maybe there's 2 versions on different nights on that recording so you can compare.
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Ooooo yes!! Oooooo yes yes yes!! I'm not sure but i think maybe there's 2 versions on different nights on that recording so you can compare.
There are indeed two versions - an 'alternate' is contained on the 'complete' 2 CD set.

If you want to compare stylistic musings from a common stage, Coltrane also recorded this tune at the Vanguard.
 

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A nice under the radar version of Softly is from an early Chuck Mangione record on Riverside called Spring Fever (Amazon is showing the wrong cover shot) that features Sal Nistico. They do the tune in D minor, which is not the key it's normally played in, but it's super swinging all the same, and Sal sounds great as always.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
actually Kritavi that was the Jerry Lewis version, but not bad for a rookie!:D

thanks guys!

I think the Sonny Rollins version is the one rattling around in my head bone--I thought it might be Dexter Gordon. I used to own that live album, but sadly I had to sell my whole record collection (about 2000 discs) and my turntable (a beautiful Rega Planar 3:( ) to pay for bills.

I may still have a cassette of it I made someplace--remember those days?!
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Ooooo yes!! Oooooo yes yes yes!! I'm not sure but i think maybe there's 2 versions on different nights on that recording so you can compare.
There are indeed two versions of SAIAMS on the two-disc set, but they're both from the same night. Even though Sonny's engagement at the Vanguard ran for weeks, all of the material for the album comes from almost exactly 50 years ago today (Nov. 3, 1957). He recorded a Sunday matinee set with Pete LaRoca on drums and Donald Baily on bass. Apparently it didn't sound/feel like what he wanted, so Sonny sent them home and called Elvin Jones and Wilbur Ware to play that night.

The two versions of "Night in Tunisia" allow you to compare the two rhythm sections, but both versions of SAIAMS are with Jones/Ware.

Also of note, according to Leonard Feathers' liner notes, it's Sonny's first live recording as a leader, and it's the first of a gazillion live records done at the Vanguard.

One of my all-time favorite records. Can you tell? :D
 

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Coltrane, Live at the Village Vanguard.
Sonny's version is cool, too.
Dolphy plays a nice version on bass clarinet, IIRQ.

Not 'legit' but WHOA.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hm......now I'm thinking it might be the Coltrane version rattling around up there. I used to listen to that live album over and over.

Anybody happen to know of a recording with tenor sax and vocals????

Rory

Thanks again all!
 

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rleitch said:
hm......now I'm thinking it might be the Coltrane version rattling around up there. I used to listen to that live album over and over.
Rory - You asked for tenor versions, right? The Coltrane version is on soprano, so if you're hearing a tenor solo rattling around in your head then Trane's is probably not the version you're thinking of. And Joe Henderson is on a great version of Softly from Larry Young's Unity.
 

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The only vocal version I remember is Mario Lanza's. Too legit?:D
 

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rleitch said:
Anybody happen to know of a recording with tenor sax and vocals????
Don't know of any versions that feature both vocals and tenor, but a quick search turned up some vocal versions by:
Bobby Darin (sounded kinda swingin')
June Christy
Abby Lincoln
Dianne Reeves
Tierny Sutton

ALSO: Forgot to mention a GREAT version on the Larry Young album "Unity" featuring Joe Henderson and Woody Shaw!
 

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I initially though of Rollins at the Village Vanguard.

Don't forget about Joe Henderson on Larry Young's Unity.
 

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Bobby Darin's rendering of this tune in the 1950s put it back on the map so to speak ... had previously been the 'theme' for some big band whose name I can't recall. The Darin version ain't high art, but it's fun, and it's how I learned the words.

The Stan Getz version of this tune from People Time is stunning, and the solo is very singable / liftable.

Not tenor, but Sonny Clark recorded a very nice version of the tune as well.

The Coltrane Live at the Vanguard cut is great, but not exactly a version I would use as a starting point for learning this tune.
 

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Sonny's 2 takes are indeed glorious. Steve Grossman gives it a nice workout with some nods to Newk on *In New York* (even quoting some of Sonny's VV stuff and even a stray Sonny tune or two...).

I also have to agree with Sebastian...

Sebastian said:
Also check out Tim Price mp3's. There's a clip of him at a jam in the 80's sounding pretty badaaaass
I first heard Tim's version of this a couple of years ago while strolling through his web site, and it's really very nice, one of my favorite recordings of this tune even; here's the link from his audio page:

Tim Price playing Softly...
 

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I think you should consider many of the changes optional rather than written in stone this way you can play it with other people with flexibility experiment with alterations and substitutions thats what jazz really is about
 
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