Sonny Simmons made a number of striking albums in the
60's. Born in 1933, he was already a well-travelled
Parkerian and a signaled innovator on the West Coast
when he first came to national attention in 1963 with his
debut recording "The Cry!" (with the Prince Lasha Quintet,
on Contemporary), live appearances in NYC with Sonny
Rollins, and sessions with Eric Dolphy (for whom he wrote
the standard, "Music Matador") and Coltrane's rhythm
section ("Illumination!", on Impulse).
Though not a die-hard avant-gardist (like Ornette Coleman
and Jimmy Lyons, other alto sax luminaries from the same
generation, he sticks in his own provocative way to the
tradition), he was then a leading figure of the Free Jazz
scene in NYC with his wife Barbara Donald, cutting
legendary records for ESP in 1966, "Staying On The
Watch" and "Music From The Spheres"