Today marks sixty years since saxophonist, Sonny Rollins stepped into Van Gelder Studios and recorded arguably some of his most iconic solos: many of which I’m confident most jazz musicians on the planet could sing at least the first chorus of.

Saxophone Colossus, was released later in the year by Prestige Records and received critical acclaim including these praises deriving from German musicologist Peter Niklas Wilson: “another milestone of the Rollins discography, a recording repeatedly cites as Rollins’ chef d’oeuvre, and one of the classic jazz albums of all time.” Below is my transcription of Rollins’ solo on St. Thomas: still one of the finest examples of motivic development to date.

Photo by Bengt Nyman from Wikimedia Commons

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