Way Out West
1 x LP
( 1957 ) - 2012 EU reissue on 180 LP = Way Out West(1957) was Sonny Rollins’ first tenor saxophone-bass-drums recording. He would follow this with the trio recordings A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1999) and Freedom Suite (Riverside/OJC, 1991
Release date: 04-01-2012 (Orginally released in 1957)
2012 EU reissue on 180gram audiophile LP = Way Out West was Sonny Rollins’ first tenor saxophone-bass-drums recording. He would follow this with the trio recordings A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1999) and Freedom Suite (Riverside/OJC, 1991). Unlike the piano-less quartets of Gerry Mulligan, Rollins did not have a counterpoint foil, as did Mulligan did in Chet Baker and later Bob Brookmeyer. The tenor trio format is full of wide-open spaces.
A1 I’M AN OLD COWHAND (Johnny Mercer)
A2 SOLITUDE (Ellington-De Lange-Mills)
A3 COME, GONE (Sonny Rollins)
B1 WAGON WHEELS (De Rose-Hills)
B2 THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE (Jones-Symes)
B3 WAY OUT WEST (Sonny Rollins)
"I’m an Old Cowhand" gets a short and extended treatment, both worthy of inclusion and release. Shelly Manne’s John Ford Western soundtrack drumming is perfect without making the song a parody. Ray Brown supplies the time and foundation over which Rollins freely improvises, taking full advantage of the space afforded him. "The Two versions of "Come, Gone" do the same thing.
Sonny Rollins’ playing is immediately attractive because of his muscular harmonic conservatism. Where he might have never have licked every scalar corner in existence as Coltrane did, he does always perform at the highest level. Way Out West remains a standard for this higher level.
Label: Wax Time
Originally released: 1957
This release: 2012