Saturday, September 15, 2007

Only One Sonny (Rollins)

Ben Ratliff, as astute author on jazz, has written an excellent article in The New York Times on saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who will perform a concert with only the support of bass and drums at Carnegie Hall, just as he did fifty years ago.

Now, some wealthy Curmudgeon reader (if there are any) needs to buy me tickets, both airplane and concert, so I can witness history in the making.

1 comment:

hobie said...

Having been blessed with two opportunities in the past few years to witness Sonny Rollins in concert (and he’s returning to the Detroit area next month), I can say that I support those assertions out there that Sonny’s concerts tend to transcendent experiences. However, the event you mention is probably destined to be historic, even given Sonny’s life in performance. No question, hearing Sonny do in his late 70s what he did in his 20s will give critics and fans the chance of a lifetime, given that Sonny today is still astonishing. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

In this context, a recent book on Lee Konitz, a legendary alto sax improviser and a contemporary of Rollins who himself adopted the sax-bass-drums format for his most famous recording, Motion, includes a brief interview with Sonny in which he discusses the trio configuration as it related to A Night at the Village Vanguard and Motion. It’s worth reading. (The book, written by Andy Hamilton and entitled Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser’s Art, also includes Konitz’s comparison of Coltrane and Rollins; I think it’s safe to say that Konitz gives the edge to Sonny.)