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Sonny Rollins Plus 4 is a jazz album released by Sonny Rollins in 1956 for Prestige Records. In this album Rollins was playing with the Clifford Brown/ Max Roach Quintet, of which he was a member at the time. This was Rollins' first release after his very successful album Saxophone Colossus. The album was the last full recording including pianist Richie Powell and trumpeter Clifford Brown, as both died in a car accident three months later. The material from this album was later re-released on Rollin's seven CD set from Prestige.


Rollins had written his two original compositions ("Pent-Up House" and "Valse Hot") while a sideman in the Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet. It was more common in the 50s for a sideman recording his own work to record with either the rhythm section or leader; thus it was unusual when Rollins recorded with the same musicians that he played with in the Quintet. Rollins had just joined the Quintet five months beforehand, replacing Harold Land, who had left New York to care for his sick wife in California.

Rollins had been working as a janitor in Chicago at the time, spending most of his time practicing and rethinking his life (a smaller sabbatical compared to the later ones he would take). The Quintet was in Chicago as well in November 1955, and were playing at the Bee Hive Club in Hyde Parkmarker. After sitting in with the Brown/Roach Quintet at the Bee Hive, Rollins was added as the tenor saxophonist. Upon returning to New York, Rollins recorded Plus 4 and used the Quintet as it was convenient. This was at the risk of sounding too much like the Quintet, but Rollins had an idea for the album, as well as several original compositions, so the album had a sound distinct from the Quintet's.

Sonny had heard Rosemary Clooney sing "Count Your Blessings" in White Christmas, and decided to record a version, due to his fondness for Irving Berlin standards. "Kiss and Run" is played as a duet between Brown and Rollins. "I Feel a Song Coming On" is a fast cover of a Dorothy Fields standard. "Valse Hot" is a jazz waltz which remains one of Rollins' most well-known songs. Also well-known is the other Rollins' composition "Pent-Up House".

Track listing

All tracks by Sonny Rollins except where noted.
  1. "Valse Hot" – 8:38
  2. "Kiss and Run" (Sam Coslow) – 7:10
  3. "I Feel a Song Coming On" (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, George Oppenheimer) – 5:14
  4. "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)" (Irving Berlin) – 2:31
  5. "Pent-Up House" – 8:53


Sonny Rollins - Tenor Saxophone
Clifford Brown - Trumpet

Max Roach - Drums

Richie Powell - Piano

George Morrow - Bass


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