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Interviews

Sonny Rollins and David S. Ware: Sonny Meets David

By Published: October 21, 2005

SR: I am glad, that's great, sure!... But as you said it is something you have to be born with it. There was a lot of cats I grew up with that wanted to play, a lot of people in my circle of friends. We all like jazz and all of us would have liked to be jazz musicians, but not all of us would have that particular talent. You have to be born with and that's how it is. Yet you have the talent but you have to have something to express and people that influence you and so on... But in saying that I would like to add that everybody has a talent of some kind, everybody is born with something to contribute to the enlightenment and upliftment of mankind whatever it is... What I am saying does not imply that only musicians have some. We talk about music so we go on with that. My friends had something to contribute they have everything to contribute if they find what they have to do.

DSW: Everybody has his own destiny.

SR: Of course.

DSW: It does not matter what field it is, man, because all subjects lead to God and, you know, that's one thing that is missing in the way they are teaching in the modern days, how they teach people, everything is divided and nothing has a relationship to each other. In the vedic teaching, they teach that all subjects are related and at least they teach that all subjects come from God. Therefore all subjects have a relationship and you see, of course you were a big catalyst in me getting interested into yoga and meditation...

SR: I did not know that....

DSW: Yeah, man, you had a lot to do with that because I know you were interested in it...

SR: Right...

DSW: By the time I was twelve years old, I was looking up about what does that mean, what is this about....

SR: Maybe I led you wrong!... [laughs]

DSW: No you didn't lead me wrong man, that's the center of my life. Meditation is the center of my life, I did this for over thirty years ! For me, music and spirituality have always been parallels to one another, they run together for me.

SR: Right...

DSW: I have never ever thought just music, just jazz. No for me the two have always been together. I must have both. And that's what I heard in your music. So much you know... using that saxophone as a pathway to God. You know you've always been a special influence like that.

SR: I'm glad to hear that, you know... That's, well, it's not music, it's spirituality. They are both part of the same thing. You can't have one without the other.

DSW: That's it. I mean, see, I did see that you were interested very much into self realisation and that's what hooked me. First record of you I bought was The Bridge. You know this 62, I am like twelve years old, and I am standing in a store in the record section. I only got enough money for one record. I am looking at The Bridge, I think it just came out and then there is Africa/Brass by Coltrane. Which one of these am I going to get? I only got money for one record and then I am looking at your picture. What it's projecting to me made me buy that album.

SR: That's very interesting because when I was in India studying yoga in 1957. I was living with a group in what they call an Ashram, this is like spiritual..... People found at that I was a musician and everything. They did not really know anything about jazz but what happened: the guy who found out I was there was a jazz fan. He had a book there, with a picture of Charlie Parker, a headshot of Charlie and this guy was a yogi student like myself. He was looking at the book and he was looking at the picture and it is like the vibe came through from this picture. So what you say is not unusual, these things happen...

FM: Sonny, you said once in an interview: the saxophone is an open sky...

SR: Yes that's true. But you know Franck, I think that what I meant was "music is an open sky. I think that the real, well expressed thought from me could be interpreted as the saxophone is an open sky; that would not be far from the mark...

DSW: I remember that article...

SR: Oh yeah? OK.



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