Archive for April, 2010

Sonny Rollins

April 22, 2010

I’ve seen Sonny Rollins perform three times in the past five years.  First, at Lincoln Center Outdoors in August 2006.  This was a free show playing to a huge crowd and was just great.  I’ve included a review in the web links below.

Then, in October 2007, he played Detroit’s Music Hall.  Again, he was in fine form and put on a memorable show.

Earlier this month, he played here again at the Orchestra Hall.  It’s a beautiful space with fine acoustics.  Now, it’s used mostly for the symphony orchestra.

Back in the 1940’s it was the Paradise Theatre and there were many great jazz concerts there.  Sonny Rollins commented on this during the show.  Being there again brought back memories.  I think that being back at the “Paradise” helped inspire him.

The band included mainstay Bob Cranshaw on bass, Bobby Broom on guitar, Kobie Watkins on drums and Victor See-Yuen on percussion.  Mr. Cranshaw’s been playing with Sonny Rollins since at least 1962!

This was the first show of a world tour that has him booked through November.  He played two sets.  His energy was phenomenal.  He didn’t seem to “lay out” much.

Sometimes his concerts get mixed reviews.  I just saw a bad review for his show last Sunday in Boston.  Yet I’m convinced that I saw three good ones.

Even on something of an “off night” he’s well worth seeing.

http://www.sonnyrollins.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/21/arts/music/21sonn.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/nyregion/29musicwe.html

Paradise Theatre Information:

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/2589/

The show I saw in New York:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/29/arts/music/29roll.html

P.S.  His recorded output is mammoth.   I especially like the past few records (including a studio recording Sonny Please, a live recording and a compilation of live performances).  His early Prestige stuff is wonderful.  Silver City and his Ken Burns Jazz CD are both top-notch compilations.