Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Sonny Rollins’ Road Shows, Vol. 2

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Ornette Coleman helps Sonny Rollins celebrate his 80th at NYC's Beacon Theatre; Sept. 10, 2010

Sonny Rollins’ Road Shows, Vol. 1 was the most important jazz album of 2008, but it had its quirks. Its seven tracks spanned 27 years and six different ensembles. Three of the tracks had been recorded on cassette from radio or television broadcasts, and four came from soundboard tapes. The sonic quality was bad to mediocre. But for the first time on record, Vol. 1 documented what Rollins fans had been telling us for years: that on his good nights, the saxophonist’s concerts were metaphysical experiences.

The eagerly anticipated Vol. 2 is now here. The music, all new, comes exclusively from soundboard tapes, so the sound is hard, bright, dry and flat. The audience could be in the next county, but the clarity and balance is distinctly superior to Vol. 1. And on every track, just when you think Rollins has arrived at his final crescendo, he kicks it up a level and keeps wailing. If there are degrees of metaphysical experience, Vol. 2 is more so.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published