Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sonny Rollins • “Striver’s Row” transcription

From the Blue Note recording A Night At The Village Vanguard, recorded November 3, 1957.

Sonny Rollins
Striver's Row
Sonny Rollins is no friend of the recording studio. He's said that the stressful, artificial recording environment stifles his creativity. And while he's released many wonderful studio recordings regardless of his discomfort, it's often said that catching him live on a good night is an unsurpassed, amazing experience.

(I've heard him live on several occasions, and was always inspired. Without a doubt, however, the most terrifying time was in 1980 in Warsaw, at Jazz Jamboree '80, in a standing-room-only, to-hell-with-fire-codes crowd in the massive Congress Hall. I — seriously! — thought there might be a riot when the "authorities" decided it was time to end the concert. There are some YouTubes about from that gig, and I hope to write more about it sometime...)

Rollins connoisseurs have long considered the pianoless trio to be the perfect Rollins unit: with no piano to dictate a harmonic direction, Sonny is free to explore every nook & cranny of a chord progression.

A Night At The Village Vanguard, the first live recording ever done there (for later jazz artists, their own live VV recording would become a sort of badge of honor) combines the best of both worlds: a good live recording of Sonny in a trio. And among an entire album of gems, Striver’s Row, an impromptu meandering through the changes of Confirmation, is a masterpiece. Rollins tosses off knotty, impossible lines with a casual virtuosity that should terrify other tenor players.

Don't have the recording? You can get it from Amazon in the following formats:

Instant MP3 Download of the track Striver's Row
Instant MP3 Download of the album A Night At The Village VanguardCD of the album Night At The Village Vanguard

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