Way Out West is a 1957 album by Sonny Rollins with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, neither of whom had played or recorded with Rollins before. The music employs a technique called "strolling", used here by Rollins for the first time, in which he would solo over only bass and drums with no pianist playing chords. The recent reissue of the CD has additional takes of three of the songs, including the title track. These additional takes are all about twice as long, containing much longer solos from all three of the members of the band.
In order to fit the recording session into the musicians' busy schedules, it was scheduled "for 3 A.M.", according to the liner notes by producer Lester Koenig: "At 7 A.M., after four hours of intense concentration, during which they recorded half the album, and should have been exhausted, Sonny said, 'I'm hot now.' Shelly who had been up for 24 hours, said, 'Man, I feel like playing.' And Ray, who was equally tired and had a studio call for the afternoon, just smiled."
The picture for the cover, taken by celebrated jazz photographer William Claxton, with the saxophonist dressed in Stetson hat, holster, and horn in place of a pistol, was Rollins' own idea, to celebrate his first trip out West, according to Koenig in the liner notes.
Label: Original Jazz Classics OJC-337
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Style: Hard Bop
A1 I'm An Old Cowhand
A3 Come, Gone
B1 Wagon Wheels
B2 There Is No Greater Love
B3 Way Out West