sunny (sonny) news.
Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins -- one of the last remaining links to bebop's heyday, and among the greatest living improvisers playing in any musical tradition -- is bringing back his memorable series of "special guest" concerts while revisiting an ever deeper memory (his Carnegie Hall debut 50 years ago). Rollins's invitationals, held annually from 1970 to 1995 (sometimes at Carnegie, other years at the Beacon Theater or Town Hall), featured his collaborations with longtime colleagues (Charles Mingus, among them) and younger musicians; regarding the latter, there was always an element of tension -- how would Branford Marsalis fare next to Sonny? and so on...
On September 18th, Rollins will perform at Carnegie in a trio alongside bassist Christian McBride and drummer Roy Haynes, playing the same tunes he did on that stage 50 years ago.
Anyone who noted the bristling energy of Rollins's last CD, Sonny Please, and the saxophonist's recent development of a new independent label and production company, knows that this 76-year-old standard-bearer is in a period of restless forward motion. I know I'll be among those who catch him leaning into the future while dipping into his past.
(For more details on this concert, his tour, and other Rollins-related stuff, try his new excellent website.)
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