but when I listen to early Sonny for instance Mambo Bounce, Newk's Fade Away, No Moe, even if he never made Saxophone Colossus or anything else after he was already so, so great that I believe he would still be talked about as one of the greatest tenor players ever .....
I totally agree.
If Sonny had died in Jun of '56 along w/ Clifford Brown he had already made
a permanent mark, by then.
Those sides you mention along w/ his solos on:
-Collectors Items w/ Miles and Bird)on tenor(1953)
-Movin Out(1954), Worktime(1955) w/ Monk (1953 & 54)
-Miles Davis BAG'S GROOVE (1954)
-His work w/ Brown and Roach (Live at Basin street)
- Rollins + 4 (Mar '56)
Sonny made some great records in his early
20s that show remarkable maturity.
go back to solos like The Way you look tonight and more than you know
w/ Monk and am amazed at how perfect
Or Sonny standing toe-to-toe w/ Bird on Serpent's tooth and Compulsion,
at 22 yrs old ! You can hear how together he was, then, even though
he had just gotten out of jail and was still having problems w/ heroin.
Ira Gitler was an early champion of Sonny's and supervised all of the Prestige
sessions as well as wrote liner notes.
He didn't have his more mature tone of later 56 onward, but I actually really
like Sonny's tone in in the '53-55 period.
Walter Bishop Jr. remarked that he thought Sonny had personalized Bird's tone
on tenor, and I can hear that, at least in that early period.
His solos on Airegin, Oleo, But not for me(both takes) are very swinging for
a guy 23 yrs old his command of swing and subtle use of space is 2nd only
to Charlie Parker who he clearly studied in these aspects .
His solos on Paradox and Raincheck .:shock:
I'd love to sit down with Sonny and bore him to tears talking about his playing
from this period.
Loooove early Sonny Rollins !