Way Out West
Prior to this 3am recording session, Sonny Rollins, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne had never played in the same room together. But on that day in 1957, these three musicians met in the early hours of the morning and produced a new improvisational style that changed the jazz game. These artists became the first to rely solely on the saxophone-bass-drums trio, a technique later coined as “strolling”. This allowed for Rollins to solo over just the bass and drums, with no pianist accompanying whatsoever. Way Out West’s stripped-down, open sound gave each player more of a spotlight; even though one might have been soloing, the listener can still detect what each instrument is doing in support. The detail doesn’t get lost in the crowd. To the listener, it’s easy to feel as though they’re right in...