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Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins is an NEA Jazz Master

It’s no state secret that Sonny Rollins has never been fond of the recording studio. Never mind that he’s recorded his full share of gems there—not only early, celebrated albums such as Saxophone Colossus and Way Out West, but also digital-era efforts such as Old Flames and This Is What I Do. The man often embraced as the greatest living improviser requires too much creative freedom to start playing, as he puts it, “when the red light comes on.” And his perfectionism makes it difficult, sometimes painfully so, to go through multiple takes in search of what he thinks is the least flawed one.

But in Rollins’s preferred element—on stage, in front of an adoring crowd, free to follow his every impulse and dazzle with his inventions—he is fully at home. And that’s not just because in those situations this iconic tenor saxophonist is unencumbered by time restraints and issues in the control booth. The best thing about performing for him, by far, is seeing how happy his playing makes all the excited people who turn out to see him.

The next best thing is making some of those performances—ones “that present parts of me I want to have presented”—available on record to his fans. With the expert help of longtime associate Richard Corsello, his engineer at Fantasy during the 1980s, that’s what Rollins has been doing with his remarkable Road Shows series, an ongoing collection of concert highlights being released on his own Doxy Records label.

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Tags

Dennis Mitcheltree
saxophone, tenor
Michael Adkins
saxophone
Russ Nolan
saxophone, tenor
Ada Rovatti
saxophone
Albert Rivera
saxophone, tenor
Jorge Sylvester
saxophone, alto
Chuck Israels
bass, acoustic
Jackie McLean
saxophone, alto
Greg Osby
saxophone
Ted Hogarth
saxophone, baritone
Fred Haas
saxophone
Phil Scarff
saxophone, tenor
Fredrik Lundin
woodwinds
Scott Reeves
trombone
Gregory Dudzienski
saxophone, tenor
Chris Gale
saxophone
Dan Wilensky
saxophone
Sue Orfield
saxophone, tenor
Iman Spaargaren
saxophone, tenor
Laurent Doumont
saxophone
Ben Bryden
saxophone
Zhenya Strigalev
saxophone, alto
Aldo Salvent
saxophone, tenor
Nat Steele
vibraphone
Chris Pitts
saxophone, tenor
Julian Nicholas
saxophone, tenor
Julian Hartwell
keyboards
Wesley Crispus
saxophone
Chris Rand
saxophone
Jon Bentley
saxophone, tenor
Ryan Baker
voice / vocals
Filippo Bianchini
saxophone, tenor
Robert Dunn
guitar, acoustic
Kenny Kirkwood
voice / vocals
Dom Franks
saxophone, tenor
Will Boyd
woodwinds
Boaz Marva
guitar
Tal Klein
piano
Richard Pavlidis
saxophone, tenor
TuneTown
band/orchestra
Bill Hauser
saxophone, tenor
Muhammad Dawjee
saxophone
Mark R DeJong
saxophone
Itay Goldberg
saxophone, tenor
Mike Schwebke
multi-instrumentalist
Claudio Rubio
saxophone, tenor
Jackson Cotugno
saxophone, tenor

Photos

Albums

Rollins in Holland

Resonance Records
2020

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Way Out West

Craft Recordings
2018

buy

Way Out West: The...

Craft Recordings
2018

buy

Holding The Stage:...

Doxy Records
2016

buy

Holding the Stage:...

Doxy Records
2016

buy

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