Sonny Rollins and David S. Ware: Sonny Meets David
So that's how I feel: jazz is supreme and these other musics are part of it. Rap and the others... You can argue about gospel music if you want as far as instrumental music gospel is not... I mean, gospel players that I met in my career they all thought of jazz as being the next step up from what they are doing. So I feel that jazz is the most advanced form of African American expression in improvisational music. I have to say that jazz is there, everything else is different branches of jazz. But jazz is the top level although I hate to speak in terms of top and bottom and all of that, but I'm trying to be... I'm trying to answer your question as best as I can.
DSW: I think the reason man, that that is true, that jazz serves as an umbrella for different branches of music that're happening in America. And the reason for that is the improvisational aspect of it, it's so heavily relies upon improvisation, man you know. The spontaneous creation of musical ideas, jazz is the ultimate of that.
DSW: And this really need to be brought out, really, you know because this rap thing is so heavy now that you know, that its source needs to be acknowledged at least. And I don't hear it being acknowledged, at least not enough man...
SR: No, I agree with that
DSW: You know I mean, the thing about it, what we were talking about before spirituality running parallel with music, I think a lot of that form of music lacks that, it lacks the spirituality so therefore they are abusing the improvisational aspect of it by calling all this bababa you know and all this kind of stuff. That's not uplifting the situation and that's not putting the talent that they have in the right light. I mean so many cats I feel are very talented, I mean, you know, what they do is not easy, with these spontaneous words, but what I think is that there is a lot of abuse running through it from the lack of spirituality.
SR: I certainly agree with that.
FM: Jazz has an important history, but how do you see its future?
SR: I hope so because I think there is a lot of... just like the essence of jazz you know, it's improvisational you know you do like the creator, there is always something creative, every raindrop is different, so there is always something to do that has not been done in a way that's creative so there is no end to creativity.
DSW: I agree with you.
FM: My last question: Sonny, what would you like to say to David?
SR: Well, I'd like to say to David that I'm very proud that he has stayed with the music all of these years and you know, even though he did not get all of the recognition; that, you know, people tried to pigeonhole him as he was saying and everything and turn you away from the music so I'm very proud that he stayed with the music and believed in it and also that he tries to live a spiritual life of the golden rule, and really, which is equally important as music as it has been said along the conversation they are parallel to each other. So I'm very happy that David has persevered and you know I'm his biggest booster you know...
DSW: Yeah, man, I want to thank you, Sonny, for giving me inspiration and you know really being like a father figure over the years, you know, man, so many cats are being so rapped up in... so many cats, musicians not having a spiritual way of ... being involved in so many things that, so many detoriating things, and you being not one of them, as far as I am concerned and you, as I said in the beginning, being the catalyst of me to get involved into spiritual things. Spiritual knowledge, event though I know that was my destiny for this incarnation. It's just a wonderful thing to have a relationship with you man. I value it a lot you know. So, I want to thank you for this conversation.
Podcast: Dial S For Sonny
Sonny Rollins is My Rabbi
Sonny Rollins: Tanglewood 2005
Top photo of David S. Ware: Christian Ducasse
Middle photo of David S. Ware: Ziga Koritnik
Bottom photo of David S. Ware: Jimmy Katz
Photos of Sonny Rollins: Dragan Tasic