A Night At the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (Live)

A Night At the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (Live)

Of the many live albums recorded at New York’s prestigious, pristine-sounding Village Vanguard, Sonny Rollins’ late 1957 outing was the first, inaugurating what could be considered a subgenre in jazz. It was also Rollins’ first live album, showcasing him in a trio with just bass and drums and no chordal instrument. And yet we still hear the chords, perhaps more than ever, in Rollins’ ceaselessly inventive solos, as he takes apart songbook standards and bebop classics with the stirring support of bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Elvin Jones (on all but the opening track). The combination of playfulness and formidable mastery is Rollins through and through.

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