In 1961, music critic Ralph Berton was walking home with his wife in Brooklyn one evening when he heard a saxophone playing on a bridge over the East River. Amidst the screeching seagulls, the noise of traffic and the noise of the harbour, masterful playing on a first-class tenor saxophone rang out. Investigating the matter, Berton found Sonny Rollins, who had disappeared from all nightclubs for two years and hadn’t released a record either. The jazzman – always his own biggest critic – had retired to improve his game and was poised to make a comeback. So it was only logical to give the LP recorded by RCA Victor the title The Bridge, marking Rollins’ musical transition from the 50s to the 60s.
Together with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Ben Riley, he recorded an album that is particularly impressive due to the interaction between Rollins and Hall. The two musicians are on the same wavelength and explore four standards and two fiery originals with their quartet.