The rarest of all the Sonny Rollins Blue Note sessions – and possibly the best! The record captures Rollins at a key turning point – emerging from his firey bop years, moving into a much more complicated, introspective tenor style that was a perfect showcase for his developing genius for improvisation. He's playing here in a quintet with Wynton Kelly, Donald Byrd, Gene Ramey, and Max Roach – but as with all Rollins Blue Note sessions, his tenor is the dominant force. Titles include "Bluesnote", "Plain Jane", "How Are Things In Gocca Morra", and "Decision". As classic as it comes for late 50s Blue Note – and a key meeting between Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk! The group on the set features Rollins and Monk with JJ Johnson, Paul Chambers, and Art Blakey – all of whom push things more in the direction of Blue Note's sound of the time, then Monk's own recordings of the period for Riverside
. But the contrast of modes makes for a really startling sound – one that has Monk "monking" it up next to the straighter rhythm section, and bringing out some more modern tones in Rollins' tenor work, titles include "Why Don't I", "You Stepped Out Of A Dream", "Misterioso", and "Reflections".
(Cover has a cut corner.)