An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series. "With these reissues, we get a fresh look and a new perspective on these artists and some of their most important work-not only from the meticulous 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, but also from the insights we glean from the new liner notes that have been written for each title in the series."
Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (1957)
Way Out West was, in many ways, Sonny Rollins' tribute to the heroes of his childhood - the cowboys of the big screen, whom he idolized in the movie theaters of Harlem during the Depression. "Westerns took me away from reality," he says in a recent interview with jazz blogger Marc Myers. Rollins' comments provide context for the original recording in Myers' new liner notes for the reissue. "My reality wasn't bad," he explains. "It's just that Westerns took me to another place. They gave me hope that a Utopia did indeed exist in life."
But along with this sense of optimism comes a wink and a sly grin, says Phillips. "If you compiled a list of the top Sonny Rollins recordings from throughout his incredible career, this one is certainly among the top entries," says Phillips. "In addition to his phenomenal playing, it's a great example of Rollins' legendary sense of humor in his playing. Doing a jazz interpretation of ‘I'm an Old Cowhand' is just one example of the kind of wit that he is known for. Even the cover photo of Sonny wearing a ten-gallon hat was his idea."
Alternate takes of "I'm an Old Cowhand," "Come, Gone," and "Way Out West" are included as bonus tracks.