The Jazz.com Blog
April 09, 2008 · 0 comments
Jazz.com features A Classic Revisited five day per week. This is our chance to showcase significant jazz performances from the past, tracks widely recognized as masterpieces. The classic performance is highlighted on the jazz.com homepage (in the middle column toward the bottom of the page), where you will find a link to our review. Each review is accompanied by full recording details, a place for comments by site visitors, and a link for fast (and legal) downloading.
Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West (1957)
The inspiration for Blazing Saddles?
Today’s featured classic track is “Come, Gone” from Rollins’ 1957 Way Out West session. This LP captures Rollins in a memorable trio setting, but it is famous for more than just its music. The tenorist obliged photographer William Claxton, who came up with the idea of posing Rollins in cowboy attire for the cover image. The saxophonist took some ribbing from his East Coast contemporaries for the photo, but years later the cover had an unintended consequence.
I recently heard Claxton describe how he received an unexpected phone call from someone researching the flim Blazing Saddles. The caller wanted to know if it was true that this LP cover inspired the Mel Brooks comedy hit. The photographer was taken by surprise – this was news to him -- but later managed to check with Brooks, who confirmed the story. Brooks had been captivated by the image of an African-American cowboy stylishly posed in the desert landscape of the Wild West.
A link to the review of the Rollins track can be found below, along with links to the other classic tracks highlighted on the jazz.com home page over the last several weeks. For a complete list of all the tracks featured as “A Classic Revisited,” click here.
Sonny Rollins: Come, Gone
Chet Baker & Phil Urso: To Mickey's Memory
Stan Getz & Jimmy Rowles: The Peacocks
Charlie Christian: Up On Teddy's Hill
Roy Eldridge & Chu Berry: Body and Soul
King Oliver: Dippermouth Blues
George Shearing: Conception
Keith Jarrett: In Front
Ben Webster: Tenderly
Fletcher Henderson (with Louis Armstrong): Sugarfoot Stomp
Coleman Hawkins: The Man I Love
Dave Brubeck: Over the Rainbow
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: Twisted
Bill Evans: My Foolish Heart
Duke Ellington: Jack the Bear
Don Ellis: Indian Lady
Mongo Santamaria: Watermelon Man
Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm
Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower
Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines: Weather Bird
Sarah Vaughan: Lullaby of Birdland
Jimmy Smith: Walkin'
Art Pepper: Round Midnight
Bud Powell (with Fats Navarro): Wail
Wayne Shorter: Witch Hunt
Joe Williams (with Count Basie): Every Day I Have the Blues
Art Blakey: Moanin'
Django Reinhardt: Minor Swing
Lester Young: Lester Leaps In
Benny Goodman: King Porter Stomp
Mary Lou Williams: Clean Pickin'
Joe Henderson: Mode for Joe
Bix Beiderbecke: Sorry
Herbie Hancock: Dolphin Dance
Cannonball Adderley: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Lennie Tristano: Line Up
Chick Corea: Steps / What Was
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia