Outside of Paul Chambers, who was employed by Miles Davis’ bassist at this time, all of the other players on these April 1957 RVG Hackensack dates were leaders of their own renowned groups; a reflection of the respect they all shared for the date leader, Sonny Rollins. Besides Chambers, with J.J. Johnson on trombone, Art Blakey behind the drums and alternating pianists Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, who both play on the now-famous version of “Misterioso,” the words All-Star seem almost demeaning to this conclave.
The resulting recordings burst forth with confidence and enthusiasm, capturing a fire and passion usually found only with uninhibited live dates and not the constraints of a recording studio. Exceptional versions of “Poor Butterfly” and “You Stepped Out Of a Dream” elevate this record to monumental status. Mastered and cut on an all-tube pure Mono cutting system by Bernie Grundman and pressed on Classic’s proprietary 200-gram super vinyl profile for the best and most authentic sound possible.
AllMusic Review by AllMusic
Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2, recorded for Blue Note, is a timeless session and a milestone in jazz history that gathered together some of the founding fathers of the post-bop era. Joining Rollins are Jazz Messengers Art Blakey on drums and Horace Silver on piano, Miles Davis’ favorite bassist Paul Chambers, the quintessential trombonist J.J. Johnson, and even Thelonious Monk himself. The tour de force in swing begins with a bang and doesn’t let up until the last note has faded away. Rollins’ own uptempo “Why Don’t I” kicks off the session with a rhythmic jolt before his big tenor launches into a classic swinging solo followed by turns from Johnson and Silver and some heated exchanges with Blakey. The aptly titled “Wail March” begins deceptively with a street-beat groove before careening into several blistering solo choruses. Monk sits in for his own “Misterioso” and “Reflections,” two quintessential works from this eccentric master that are given excellent readings here. The bouncing “You Stepped Out of a Dream” provides some tasty interaction between Rollins and Johnson. Finally, the lilting “Poor Butterfly” is a nice bluesy ending to this all-star session.
2. Wail March
2. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
3. Poor Butterfly