In retrospect the 1960’s must be viewed as a golden age for creativity in jazz. Musicians like Sonny Rollins were experimenting with the ” Free ” concepts of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor and eventually adding some of these ideas to their own post-bop vocabulary. Rollins in particular proved to be very successful at this – in all truthfulness because of his probing and analytic outlook he was probably heading in this direction anyway. This is a particularly fascinating release as it shows Rollins in a period of great change.
This album is an old friend on vinyl. Everyone is on great form – Rollins is even experimenting with such effects as split tones and multi-phonics. Although there is no piano or guitar on any of these titles the lack of any chordal accompaniment is not missed – indeed it is often easier to hear the interplay between the instruments and it was possibly more conducive to an increased reaction from the performers.
This is a great and underrated jazz album – in its own way as significant as “Giant Steps ” or “Kind Of Blue “and is a foretaste of things to come on such albums as “East Broadway Rundown.”