A very unusual live performance from Sonny Rollins – not just because it was recorded in Tokyo, but also because the lineup is quite unique! The set's unlike some of Sonny's others from the time – in that it features a core quintet combo – with Paul Bley on piano, Reshid Kmal Ali on trumpet, Henry Grimes on bass, and Roy McCurdy on drums – plus guest vocals from Betty Carter on 2 of the tracks that omit the horns! The sound of the tenor tracks is almost like Sonny's Our Man In Jazz album for RCA – long-blown, and very edgey – with added brilliance from Bley's piano and Ali's trumpet. Betty's vocal numbers are great too – surprising in that she's working with Bley, and recorded with a freewheeling feel that really sounds more like late 70s Carter than you'd expect from the 1963 date. Instrumental numbers include "Mack The Knife" and "Oleo" – and vocal ones are "The Way You Look Tonight" and "When I Fall In Love" One additional track – "On A Slow Boat To China" – features Sonny with a Japanese group that features Akira Miyazawa on tenor – and 2 more tracks – "Valse Hot" and "I Get A Kick Out Of You" – feature Rollins with Kenny Dorham on trumpet on a broadcast from Bandstand USA in 1956. © 1996-2019, Dusty Groove, Inc.
(Out of print.)
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