A Rollins’ Joint
“St. Thomas” is a famous piece among jazz musicians. The form is ABA with sets of improvisations that fall into two sets of five choruses, then two sets of four. In the intro, Max Roach sets up a Latin groove with sixteen bars on the drums. The fluidity and intensity build in from Sonny Rollins’ tenor saxophone. His sound on the tenor is sensational and powerful. Roach then drops an intoxicating Latin vibe that filled with rhythmic complexity. As Rollins returns for his solo, Roach switches to a strong jazz beat along with Dough Watkin’s four-to-the-bar bass. The beat prevails almost to the end of the performance.