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Enjoy Jazz: Mannheim, Germany, October 2-November 18, 2011, Week 5-7

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When Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
walked onstage, the audience in the elegant theater's auditorium froze for a startling moment—the brief moment of common realization that it was witnessing jazz history. The jazz titan bowed and began telling the story of jazz and the story of his life in a firm and tender saxophone elegy, punctuated by moments of respite in which he was listening respectfully to the solos of his band mates: Russell Malone
Russell Malone
Russell Malone
b.1963
guitar, electric
on guitar, Kobie Watkins
Kobie Watkins
Kobie Watkins
b.1975
drums
on drums, Bob Cranshaw
Bob Cranshaw
Bob Cranshaw
b.1932
bass
on bass and Sammy Figueroa
Sammy Figueroa
Sammy Figueroa

percussion
on percussion.

Sonny Rollins' solos took one to the Harlem clubs and onto the bridge where he used to rehearse, and made one think of Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' words, recorded in his autobiography: "Sonny Rollins was a legend, almost a god to a lot of the younger musicians. Some thought he was playing the saxophone on the level of Bird. I know one thing—he was close. He was an aggressive, innovative player who always had fresh musical ideas. I loved him back then as a player and he could also write his ass off..."

Perfectly sustained by his crew, The Titan revisited some of his favorite themes—like "My One and Only Love"—with a softer note, and added to their beauty by using a quieter, more reflexive pace; elaborated masterfully on more actual standards and closed the concert by singing: "Falling in love again, never wanted to, what am I to do? Can't help it." Master, we can't help but thank you for sharing with us a few precious moments of your wondrous existence!


Photo Credit
All Photos: Richard Wayne

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