If videos of Sonny are removed, will the legend grow?

Gone from Youtube are two brief but vivid excerpts from Sonny Rollins' 80th birthday concert at the Beacon Theater on Sept. 10 -- one showing the great tenor saxophonist in duet with percussionist Sammy Figueroa, the second documenting the surprise, climactic contributions of Ornette Coleman to the set, and Rollins' inspired improvised responses. What a shame! -- from at least one perspective. Or should those visuals never have been made public without the artists' permissions?  … [Read more...]

Video for fans of Sonny Rollins & harmolodics

Too good to not post: Ornette Coleman was surprise guest with Sonny Rollins at his fast-become-famous Beacon Theater 80th birthday party on September 10 (backstage there was birthday cake shaped like a saxophone, made of marzipan). Note SR's quote at about 10 minutes in of "I'll Take Manhattan," which he certainly did. [[As of 9/15/2010 this video has been removed from Youtube by it's "user." Research will follow.  … [Read more...]

Sonny @ Beacon bootlegged video clip

A bootlegged video excerpt of Sonny Rollins at the Beacon Theater, 9/10/2010 is available on youtube -- the sound doesn't do him justice, and I don't intend to encourage unauthorized video, but it is out there to give the world a brief idea of last night's concert. On the other hand, Bret Primack, the Jazz Video Guy, has been working long and hard on, for and with Sonny, and I embed below a clip from the end of a performance of "Tenor Madness" from Antibes, 2005, which is auhorized to be on the … [Read more...]

Sonny the sax king

At age 80, Sonny Rollins is indisputably the greatest living jazz tenor saxophonist, proved last night throughout a 2-hour set at New York's sold-out Beacon Theater in which harmolodic sage Ornette Coleman sat in, backed by drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Christian McBride, on "Tenor Madness."  "Sonnymoon For Two". Rollins was hunched and hobbled when he came onstage, but once he started blowing he stood upright and blasted his big bold sound with energy that brooked no diminishment of strength or inspiration, bending only to fire … [Read more...]