Cover image for Sonny Rollins : the cutting edge
Sonny Rollins : the cutting edge
Palmer, Richard, 1947-
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Continuum, [2004]

Physical Description:
213 pages
General Note:
Originally published: Great Britain : Hull University Press, 1998.
Newk's Time : 1949-59 -- What's New? 1961-67 -- Horn culture : the 1970s and beyond -- Conclusion : Rollins as saxophone colossus.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML419.R64 P35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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One of the world's great tenor saxophonists, Sonny Rollins has always been committed to the fundamental truths of jazz, especially swing. He has managed to be consistently experimental and forward-looking, and he has recorded at least a dozen essential albums. Here, Richard Palmer charts Rollins's career in full.

Author Notes

Richard Palmer is a jazz journalist and author of several books including Deceptions- The Work of Philip Larkin (2003). He is editor of A Jazz Odyssey by Oscar Peterson (Continuum, 2002).

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Sonny Rollins and Artie Shaw are both standout figures in the jazz pantheon, and these two entries in Continuum's "Bayou Jazz Lives" series attempt to appraise their recorded output. A staff writer for Jazz Journal since the 1970s, Palmer takes a critical look at Rollins's jazz standards, like "Doxy," "Oleo," and "Airegin." Basically, he starts with the larger cultural backdrop and what was happening in jazz at the time and then focuses more on Rollins, using commentary from musicians, record producers, and critics to back up his claims. He suggests that, ironically, Rollins lacked confidence in his work, which may have led to problems in the studio. Since the focus here is on recorded output, this well-documented study complements some other recent titles, such as Eric Nisenson's Open Sky: Sonny Rollins and His World of Improvisation, which are more concerned with Rollins's personal life. Recommended for jazz collections in public and academic libraries. Artie Shaw was at the top of the jazz world in the 1940s and a major rival of Benny Goodman on clarinet, yet by 1954 he had stopped playing and did not perform in public again as an instrumentalist. Besides Vladimir Simosko's Artie Shaw: A Musical Biography and Discography, there are surprisingly few books on Shaw, so this study is welcome. Obviously well versed in his subject, White (Billie Holiday: Her Life and Time) focuses on the music, eschewing the juicier details of Shaw's life-he got married eight times, to no less than Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. Citing interviews with Shaw and other musicians, White shows that Shaw was an important member of the jazz pantheon who influenced other musicians, experimented with different contexts, and was willing to have an integrated band in the late 1930s. Like Palmer's book, this is well documented and organized. Recommended for jazz collections in public and academic libraries.-Ronald S. Russ, Arkansas State Univ. Lib., Beebe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.