Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins

On 7 september 2005 the tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins celebrated, one of the last living legends of jazz, his 75th birthday. And hardly any of the remaining "old warriors" still has so much vitality, inventiveness and playful wit as Sonny Rollins. Recently Rollins received a Grammy for Best Jazzinstrumetalsolo and underlined both by the Jazz Journalists Association and in the Downbeat Critics Poll honors as an artist and tenor saxophonist of the year. With "Sonny, Please!" Published Sonny Rollins now on his own label Doxy his first studio album in five years.

The new CD he took with his well-rehearsed band shortly after his return from a sold-out tour of Japan in November of 2005. "When you are in a band, a whole series of concerts, then finds the ensemble more and more to each other," says Rollins. "The band has played together just fine -.. With a lot of energy towards the end of the tour, the musicians of the group was always better to each other and allowed me in to play much liquid I could improvise with free head, because the things from a certain point as revealed by itself. "

"Sonny just played on this album the soul from the body," remarked Clifton Anderson, Rollins' longtime trombonist, who also produced the new CD. "Each piece differs wonderfully in from all others, and yet there is a clear continuity in these recordings. I am sure that this is because Sonny was more involved in this project in every respect, than any other disc holder which I attended. "

The other musicians in the band, with Sonny Rollins on "Sonny, Please!" can be heard, are bassist Bob Cranshaw, who is one of the preferred appearance of tenor saxophonist since 1959, guitarist Bobby Broom and drummer Steve Jordan, who both worked on several occasions in the 80s with Sonny, and percussionist Kimati Dinizulu, the front round six years joined the band.

The musical program is a fine mix of original compositions and standards, Sonny Rollins has partly heard for the first time in his childhood and then never could forget. The title track - "Sonny, Please!" - Takes its name from a phrase with which the deceased in November 2004 Lucille Rollins nursed her husband Sonny to call "to reason". The two were married in 1957, and his wife, who had also been his manager since 1971, death was, fOr Sonny naturally depressing. So the title is like an invitation Rollins' to yourself to pull herself together. The piece "Nishi" in turn was named after a fellow Japanese bassist, and "Park Palace Parade" by a now-defunct Dancehall in New York's Spanish Harlem, where once occurred many calypso artist.

"Remembering Tommy" composed Sonny Rollins fifteen years ago during a session with pianist Tommy Flanagan. When Rollins recently read an article about the late pianist, was so nostalgic mood that he now simply had to play again the piece.

"Serenade" was composed by Ricardo Drigo and was the theme music of a long oblivion fallen radio broadcast. "I have never forgotten the melody," says Rollins. "A few years ago I have the number at last brought out of the woodwork and added to my repertoire."

"Stairway To The Stars" was in the 30s a popular ballad and Noel Coward "Someday I'll Find You", which dates from the same time and the theme tune of the radio show "Mr. Keene, Tracer Of Lost Persons" was, was of Sonny Rollins 1958 fOr ever be Riverside album "Freedom Suite" was recorded.

"Sonny, Please!" is presented on its own fledgling label Doxy the first album, the Sonny Rollins. "Since my [34 years existing!] Expired contract with Milestone and my wife was not there to look after the business, I thought it was time to take these things themselves active in their hands." Named has Rollins label after his famous composition "Doxy", the first time in 1954 by Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke) for the legendary album "Bags' Groove " has been recorded.

Walter Theodore "Sonny" Rollins came on September 7, 1930 as a son of immigrants from the US Virgin Islands in Harlem, New York to the world. Although his Elder brother Valdemar and his sister Gloria had musical talent, it would remain only Sonny reserved to pursue a professional career as a musician. For jazz and blues he found early by an uncle who was a professional saxophonist himself.

Having played at first alto saxophone, joined Rollins - mainly inspired by Coleman Hawkins - During his high school years for tenor saxophone. Immediately after finishing school he began working with renowned musicians like Babs Gonzales (the first time in 1949, he went into a recording studio), Bud Powell, Fats Navarro and Roy Haynes. His recording debut as a leader, he made a 21-year old in 1951 for the label Prestige, for which he in subsequent years even such classics as "Work Time" (1955), "Saxophone Colossus" (1956) and "Tenor Madness" (1956 / John Coltrane) should import.

Early 1956 was Sonny Rollins member of the quintet of Max Roach and Clifford Brown, who wrote one of the best hard bop ensemble jazz history. The immensely fruitful cooperation, however, was already preparing a hasty end by the accidental death of the then 25 year-old trumpeter in June of the same year. So Sonny Rollins focused in 1957 on his career as a leader of own bands. He often played here in a trio format without pianist. So he took in 1957 with Ray Brown and Shelley Manne "Way Out West" and in the same year with bassist Wilbur Ware and Donald Bailey and drummers Elvin Jones and Pete La Roca "A Night At The Village Vanguard" on. In 1958 the "Freedom Suite" with Oscar Pettiford and Max Roach.

1959 put Rollins, the first of its as a "sabbatical" designated an artistic outs. He was living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where you could often see it at the nahegelegnenen Williamsburg Bridge Practice. "I wanted to work on my phrasing, immerse myself more in the harmony and even a better person," said Rollins once the Jazz chronicler Stanley Crouch. "And I just wanted to get out of this jazz atmosphere that was polluted by cigarette smoke, alcohol and drugs."

1961 Rollins returned to the scene, took the album "The Bridge" with Jim Hall, Bob Cranshaw and Ben Riley on, headed another quartet with Don Cherry and Billy Higgins and went with his idol Coleman Hawkins to the studio. FOr the soundtrack, he for the film "Alfie" composed in 1966, Rollins received a Grammy nomination (in 2004 came a remake of the movie in the cinema). Late 60s Sonny a second and final time then moved back temporarily to time studying in Japan Zen Buddhism and practicing yoga in India. While he lived in an ashram, he even played with the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčcompletely abandoning the music and to dedicate himself only spiritual studies. Fortunately, one of his teachers him it convinced that it was the music was his spiritual path.

So Rollins returned in 1972 thus again on the scene back and signed his contract with Milestone Records, the only only now - after 34 years of loyalty - dissolved. The first milestone album was "Next album". In the next three decades, he published some two dozen albums, which he, inter alia, grossed with musicians like Tommy Flanagan, Jack DeJohnette, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and McCoy Tyner.

His first well-deserved Grammy received Sonny Rollins in 2001 for the album "this Is What I Do", the second in 2004 for his solo in "Why Was I Born?" from the album "Without A Song (The 9/11 Concert)". 2004 Sonny Rollins from NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) also the "Lifetime Achievement Award" Presented.

"I am convinced that all art has the desire to leave the ordinary behind and to express themselves in a spiritual way," Sonny Rollins said recently in an interview with the Catalan magazine Jac. "But in jazz, in the world of improvisation has since perhaps reached the highest level, because we do not have the opportunity to still make changes. It is as if you were painting in public. One can not go the next morning and then the colors of the painting change. we need to before we go on stage, already know what colors we use where and how. that is why the Jazz for me is the most demanding art that there is. "

And Sonny Rollins - like "Sonny, Please!" impressively demonstrates - remains one of the absolute masters of jazz improvisation.

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