Sunday Wax Bits - JazzWax

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October 16, 2011


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Those wives aren't just twins, they are exact clones. I had to look up "Stepford Wives" to find that they are '50s housewives who have been turned into robots by their husbands. These two look like they might even be a mannequin, which would explain the bored expressions. If they are a human model, then it's probably just the strain of holding that position. Perhaps the cover is meant to convey that the music is hypnotically entrancing, at least after a few martinis at the space-age lounge.

Bruno Leicht

"Our Man In Jazz" ... Wow! -- Anyone of you who doesn't know this album: Listen to the 'round 22 minutes of a breakneck version of "Oleo", live from "The Village Gate".

There is nothing better, regarding inspired and fearless soloing and interplay on such sort of free-stylish up-tempo.

Bill Kirchner

The "Our Man in Jazz" version of "Oleo" is 25 minutes and 32 seconds, to be precise. And it's as good as Bruno says--one of the highlights of Rollins's recording career. For obvious reasons, it's rarely heard on the radio.

Bruno Leicht

Hi there, Bill --

Thanks for the correction. I've reposted an old article at my new blog where one could listen to the whole piece. -- The first time I heard this particular "Oleo" was actually on German radio in the early 1980's; I taped it immediately.

There was a time when jazz history was quite an important topic, when radio men still had the guts to broadcast such kind of "inconvenient" sounds, and not only the smooth, popular bands.

Believe it or not: This very track was broadcast on SWF, Baden-Baden shortly before prime time, on 7:30 p.m. -- The moderator, Mr. Werner Wunderlich, had only half an hour for introducing the reissue of the week, which was then the French RCA twofer, containing two LP's of Sonny Rollins, "Our Man In Jazz" & "What's New?"


Thank you Marc for your Magazine and for your contribution to jazz music

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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