What’s In A Name – “Bellarosa”

This is the first composition recorded (in one take) on the 1953 session. This composition and the composition Carvin’ The Rock are both co-written with Sonny Rollins. To my knowledge, there is no documentation from Elmo as to when exactly these compositions were written. Sonny Rollins says, “if pressed, I would say 1950,” because a period of that year was the only time he remembers being in detention with Elmo at Riker’s Island. Sonny also remembers naming Bellarosa, (which he refers to as Bella Rosa), saying he named it for a current lady friend of Elmo’s named Rosemary. Bertha Hope, Elmo’s widow, remembers hearing that the song, which is played at a gentle walking tempo, evoked Rosemary’s walk.


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