By the time this LP was released, Sonny Rollins already had such albums under his name as Worktime and Sonny Rollins Plus 4 in addition to his sideman exploits with the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet. Even the critics who had been slow in recognizing what fellow jazzmen already knew–that here was a young giant in our midst–could not help see the light. Tenor Madness, in which he was joined by the rhythm section from the Miles Davis Quintet, further substantiated and underlined his rapidly rising stature. The material is an effective mixture of Rollins's playing attitudes with an intriguing original, "Paul's Pal," and the mining of unusual material such as "My Reverie" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World." And, of course, there is the celebrated title track featuring the two titans to emerge in the Fifties, Rollins and his guest, visiting in the studio that day, John Coltrane.
with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones
“I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music on CD using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger.”
—Rudy Van Gelder