Sonny Rollins

The Sound Of Sonny
Mono Microgroove


First, as far as I'm concerned

Here’s another instance of me calling bullshit on Discogs. It’s a certainty that this spectacular Rollins title was released in 1957, which means first pressings were pressed in 1957.

Starting in 1956, Riverside used the labels on this record — Blue with Silver printing and “Bill Gauer Productions” at the bottom. (At some later point, Gauer incorporated his business and added “Inc.” to that line, but otherwise kept the labels the same until 1965.)

Since this title came out in ’57, why are there copies kicking around with the White and Blue labels from ’56? They simply hadn’t run out of the old labels so they used them for the head of the run of this pressing and when they ran out, they continued pressing with the new design. I don’t have a White label in front of me and Discogs doesn’t provide the run-out, but I’d wager they’re the same, bare, etched RLP-12-241-A/B etched here.

Essentially, I’m saying this is a first pressing and so is the one that Discogs calls a first — they just switched to the labels mid-run. Since there is also an instance of a pressing with an “Inc.” on the labels, that would be the second pressing.

Edit: 2 hours after posting this record, I spoke with someone who owned the White and Blue label version and, indeed, the stampers are identical.


Some faint marks but this wonderful record plays beautifully with practically no crackle and very few ticks. The cover has wear and some Scotch tape on the top seam but is still in good shape.

’57 was probably Rollins’ greatest year. Along with winning Downbeat’s “Best Newcomer” award for tenor sax, he came out with numerous, “genre-defining” (Allmusic) titles: Newk’s Time, Saxophone Colossus, Way Out West, and this one, The Sound of Sonny, which also features Sonny Clark and Paul Chambers. An extraordinary output by any measure.

This is a terrific copy of this album. If you like sax, and can afford it, jump on it — you may find a better looking one at a higher price, but I doubt it’d sound considerably better.


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