Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Sonny Clark (piano); Percy Heath, Paul Chambers (bass); Roy Haynes (drums).
Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on June 11, 12 & 19, 1957. Originally released on Riverside (241). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1987, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
THE SOUND OF SONNY shows everything that makes Sonny Rollins one of the titans of the tenor saxophone. He has a tone which can evoke heart-rending passions with a smoothness just this side of Ben Webster. Add to that the man's warm and playful sense of humor, and you've got a sax that's every bit a full and well-rounded emotional being. Without ever cheapening humor into novelty, it's a staple of his persona. This time out he finds the wacky joy in playing "Toot, Toot, Tootsie" as if it's some kind of after hours national anthem (this is, after all the same man who recorded "I'm An Old Cowhand" on his WAY OUT WEST album). The session boasts a superlative rhythm section of Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers or Percy Heath on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums--all stellar players of the post-bop era.