Recorded live at the Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden in the summer of 1985, this disc captures Rollins performing an entire program of unaccompanied improvisation. For some, the rigors of an full-length album of spontaneous composition on solo saxophone may be a bit much. For fans of Rollins, the instrument or the art of extended improvisation however, the disc is a delight. It becomes an exhilarating exercise in concentration to follow the artist's imagination as it whirls through the horn, plumbing its depths, bending its outer limits, flying through blinding glissandos and pulling out quotes to standards, children's nursery rhymes and popular tunes like rabbits out of hats.
Like Coltrane, Rollins played his way through two worlds: the old school of allegiance to melody and song structure, and the postmodern realm of free-form invention. THE SOLO ALBUM weighs more heavily on the latter, as Rollins the songster is deconstructed and patchworked by Rollins the improviser in a process that is fascinating and inspiring to behold.
Solo performer: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone).
01 Soloscope Part 1
02 Soloscope Part 2