SONNY ROLLINS’ “AIREGIN” is about “ORIGIN” is about “OXYGEN” is about “NIGERIA”

I guess that headline sums it up what Sonny subconsciously wanted to tell us with “Airegin” which is one of his greatest hits beside “St. Thomas”, “Oleo”, and “Doxy”.

Here it is in its initial performance, as played by the Miles Davis Quintet from 1954, featuring the composer Sonny Rollins on tenorsaxophone, Miles Davis on trumpet, Horace Silver on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums; the whole affair can be found on the album “Bags’ Groove”, and it was recorded in Rudy Van Gelder’s Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey on June 29, 1954.

Take a deep breath of fresh & jazzy air, even if you’re not exactly from Nigeria!

The later Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers & ‘Philly’ Joe Jones speeded it up virtuously in the very same studio on October 26, 1956:

->>—> Learn more about “Oleo”, the song on the famous margarine HERE.

P.S. — See & hear what the other master improvisors Chet Baker & Stan Getz did with “Airegin” – backed by Jim McNeely (p), George Mraz (b) & Victor Lewis (d) – in Stockholm on February 18 1983:

->>—> Here’s their whole concert at JazzTube, the fabulous encore “Line For Lyons” included, as it happened exactly 30 years + 1 day ago:

2nd P.S. — Not to forget the other fantastic treatment of Sonny’s ageless jazz hit:

Blog owner’s addition: Here’s yet another fantastic version of “Doxy”. Guess who?

->>—> AAAND… last but not least *THEE* mother of all vocal versions of “AIREGIN” with the fascinating, the unique, the one & only Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, kindly recommended @ Rifftides by Mr. Mark Stryker:

This entry was posted in Anniversary, Chet Baker, Dedication, Etymology, Jazz Stories & Tales, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Native Americans, Portrait, Saxophone, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Trumpet, Wes Montgomery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to SONNY ROLLINS’ “AIREGIN” is about “ORIGIN” is about “OXYGEN” is about “NIGERIA”

  1. Terry says:

    Thank a lot, Bruno. There’s no single day I won’t spin at least one CD with my favorite quintet: The MDQ of the mid-1950’s!

  2. Thomas Bartos says:

    what about DIG, U dig? :-))

    • Brew says:

      Here’s “Dig”, the great melody (based on “Sweet Georgia Brown”, later recorded for “Blue Note” as “Donna” and credited to Jackie McLean) which is track #1 on the album with the same name (posted at JazzTube in its entirety):

      • Brew says:

        P.S. — Miles Davis (tp) Jackie McLean (as) Sonny Rollins (ts) Walter Bishop Jr. (p) Tommy Potter (b) Art Blakey (d) – Apex Studios, NYC, October 5, 1951:

        Side 1:

        “Dig” (7:33)
        “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (5:23)
        “Denial” (5:39)

        Side 2:

        “Bluing” (9:55)
        “Out of the Blue” (6:15)
        “Conception” (Charles Mingus, allegedly on bass?) (4:01)
        “My Old Flame” (6:34)

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