Sonny Rollins, Road Shows Volume 3 (Okeh)
Thriving on the energy he gets back from his listeners, Rollins can electrify them. In the third volume of his Road Show series the formidable tenor saxophonist sends currents through audiences in Japan, the United States and four places in France. The solitary listener to the recording may find himself joining in the ovations for Rollins’s audacity, humor and explosions of creativity. From 2001 to 2012, his accompanists vary, although the stalwart bassist Bob Cranshaw is a constant and trombonist Clifton Anderson is on most tracks. Alone with his imagination on “Solo Sony,” Rollins quotes dozens of tunes, stitching disparate snatches of melody together into a new creation. “Why Was I Born?” runs over 23 minutes and doesn’t contain a boring second. It’s been years since I’ve had this much fun listening to a record.