Saxophone Colossus – Sonny Rollins
Recorded: June 22, 1956
Release Date: 1956/1957

This album was considered ‘Hard Bop’. Saxophone Colossus is the sixth studio album by Sonny Rollins. Many think of this record as his breakthrough record. Recorded June 22, 1956 only four days before Clifford Brown and Richie Powell were tragically killed in a car accident. Sonny Rollins is still alive today, he is unable to play anymore but has had a career that has spanned over 7 decades. This album includes the famous tune ‘St. Thomas’.

“Music represents nature. Nature represents life. Jazz represents nature. Jazz is life.” —Sonny Rollins

Tune in to KUVO JAZZ for a celebration of the “LP,” June 1 through 15. KUVO hosts will be sharing their record stories and favorite album art, plus random reflections on decades of record-related encounters.

We invite you to enter our Record Store Day drawing today and tell us your record story!

The winner will receive the following:

  • A Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable courtesy of Listen Up.
  • A “starter-pack” of 10 LPs hand-picked by KUVO JAZZ Music Director Arturo Gómez from the bins at Twist & Shout
    • “Giant Steps” – John Coltrane
    • “Just Coolin'” – Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers with Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley
    • “Everybody Digs Bill Evans” – Bill Evans Trio
    • “Saxophone Colossus” – Sonny Rollins
    • “The Cape Verdean Blues” plus J.J. Johnson – Horace Silver Quintet
    • “Rainbow Sign” – Ron Miles w/ Bill Frisell
    • “The Hits” – Sinatra
    • “Howlin’ Wolf” (Blues)
    • “The Astrud Gilberto Album” w/Antonio Carlos Jobim (Brazilian)
    • “Orquesta Akokán” (Latin Jazz/Salsa)
  • A 1-year subscription to the mail record club Vinyl Me, Please


You have until midnight on June 15, 2021! Good luck.


In the before times, the music went out to the masses via the disc – black lacquer, pressed with grooves that transmitted sound through a needle to hungry ears, stamped with a colorful label, pierced precisely with a hole measuring 9/32 of an inch (1.5 inches for 45 rpm singles).

Of course, the music was the main attraction, but it didn’t take long for marketers of the LP to create a package that was a sound-and-sight experience: album covers with original, commissioned artwork and photography, literary and entertaining liner notes, printed sleeves, colored vinyl, punch-out mobiles, stickers, posters, and LYRICS!

Fully enjoying the LP was an experience: unwrapping the album and inhaling the fresh ink and vinyl, dropping the needle on the edge of the platter, turning the stereo up LOUD, sitting down for Side A, getting up to turn the disc over for Side B, and taking it all in while you pore over every word and image on the jacket.  My favorite artists always included graphic treats and word puzzles along the way.  A whole vocabulary arose around the medium of the record.  Hipsters wanted to be “in the groove,” and “groovy” was a most positive accolade.  DJs promised “more platter,” “stacks o’ wax,” and “mounds of sounds.”  Later, with hip-hop, the sound of the needle forced back-and-forth on the record wasn’t a gag or a mistake; scratching was part of the rhythmic texture of the song.

Radio stations have had to keep up with all the technological developments of musical conveyance, the CD, and now digital storage and playback, plus a few formats you may not even have heard of – DAT and MiniDisk.  But the affection for the jazz LP has never waned.  Every public radio station I know of has a few record mavens on the airstaff.  KUVO Jazz has Mike Wulfsohn’s “Wulfy’s Wax Museum” (Mondays at 8:30 p.m.), Geoff Anderson’s “Vinyl Vault” (Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.), Rodney Franks, JJ, Adam Morgan, Djamila Ricciardi, myself and a few others.

It’s probably not on your calendar, but if you’re a music lover, it should be: Record Store Day.  There are two Record Store Days this year, the first of which is Saturday, June 12.  For a few of us around KUVO Jazz, it’s in our planners, we’ve saved up, and we’re ready to do some serious crate-diving.  But why wait?

Record Store Day is celebrated nationally, with 29 record stores in Colorado listed.
The KUVO JAZZ “Record Stories” campaign is co-sponsored by ListenUp, Twist & Shout, and Vinyl Me, Please.
Drawing Rules Here.

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