[JPL] Sonny Rollins starts fresh with an album and self-run label

eflash17 at comcast.net eflash17 at comcast.net
Thu Aug 24 13:11:15 EDT 2006

Here is a link to the Leonard Cohen / Sonny Rollins clip mentioned in the Rollins article.  Great stuff !!


- Eric Flashner
"The Sounds of Jazz"
KRFC - Fort Collins, 88.9FM

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> es1/569/music/what_s_new.xml
> Time Out New York / Issue 569: August 24­30, 2006
> What¹s new?
> Saxophone master Sonny Rollins starts fresh with an album and self-run
> label.
> By K. Leander Williams
>  TENOR OF THE TIMES Sonny Rollins returned to the studio for the first time
> in five years.
>  Photograph: Phil Bray
> Musically speaking, one might be forgiven for thinking that tenor-sax icon
> Sonny Rollins and Leonard Cohen occupy parallel planes that don¹t have much
> to offer each other. But there the Canadian songwriter-laureate is on
> YouTube, making way for the saxophone colossus in a clip from their one-off
> appearance together on the late-¹80s TV show Night Music. As Cohen whispers
> his litany of the human condition in the song ³Who by Fire,² Rollins hangs
> back. Then, he gets a solo break, and everything in his vicinity is
> swallowed whole. In the rush of Rollins¹s choruses, all the rapture and
> pathos in Cohen¹s lyrics (³And who by brave assent / Who by accidentŠwho for
> his hungerŠwho shall I say is calling?²) comes flooding back in a torrent of
> melodic deconstruction. Cohen and host altoist David Sanborn can only look
> on in blissful awe.
> On such occasions it¹s easy to both see and hear why Rollins has long been
> considered the world¹s greatest living saxophonist. To the 75-year-old
> Harlem-bred veteran, the experience wasn¹t such an oddity at all. ³Most
> things can be, for lack of a better phrase, jazzed up,² he says from his
> home in upstate Germantown. ³Tunes from the American Songbook just seem more
> applicable.² Not surprisingly, on those nights when his muse is sufficiently
> nourished, pop audiences have witnessed contemporary jazz at its most
> magnificent, while jazzheads genuflect in the presence of a master who has
> had many challengers but no true rivals since the death of John Coltrane in
> 1967. The aficionados know something else, however: That the genius Sonny
> sometimes falls prey to another incarnation, an enigma whose performances
> have just as often gotten stuck in first gear. Carl Smith, a Maine
> entrepreneur and Rollins fanatic who has made surreptitious recordings of
> the saxist and is in possession of hundreds of Rollins bootlegs ranging as
> far back as 1949, recently explained the disparity with a baseball metaphor.
> ³Sonny¹s like the player who always swings for the fences,² he says. ³You¹re
> not gonna hit a home run every at-bat, but if you connect and everything¹s
> in place, there¹s also the possibility of a grand slam. At every stage of
> his career he¹s hit more of those than his later recorded work suggests.²
> advertisement
> Rollins obviously feels that there are more long balls in his future. His
> 34-year association with Milestone Records came to an end last year, and
> though he claims to be ³a Luddite,² the release of the new Sonny, Please,
> his first studio session in five years, shows that he¹s learned enough about
> new technologies to start Doxy Records, an Internet-only imprint. The disc
> is mostly a ballads affair, although it opens with the burning title track
> (named for a phrase Rollins attributes to his recently deceased wife and
> business manager, Lucille) and closes with one of Rollins¹s now trademark
> excursions into calypso. He¹s currently hammering out a retail-distribution
> deal, and is having little fun doing so. ³Y¹know, thinking about anything
> associated with having a company‹bookkeeping, royalty statements, all that
> stuff‹makes me ill,² he confesses. ³But everyone knows that it¹s a
> musician¹s dream to own their work, and this seems to be the right vehicle
> for mine, without trying to be a mogul or anything.²
> Perhaps even more surprising is his growing connection to Smith. For obvious
> reasons, the artist/bootlegger relationship is generally an antagonistic
> one, but with Rollins¹s approval, Smith¹s tape of the Boston concert from
> September 15, 2001, became the saxist¹s final Milestone disc, last year¹s
> Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert. (Rollins was in his Duane Street apartment
> during the attack.) ³Of course, Lucille and I were leery of Carl at first,²
> Rollins explains. ³But I found out he¹s part of this closed network of
> collectors who only trade performances. If you sell anything, no one will
> trade with you. Now he¹s gone the extra step of giving me access to his
> archive, to do with as I please.² Rollins pauses, perhaps knowing that his
> next statement will be music to a jazzbo¹s ears. ³Releasing the best ones on
> my label isn¹t just a possibility. It¹s a probability.²
> Sonny, Please is available from sonnyrollins.com. Sonny Rollins plays
> Damrosch Park Sunday 27.
> -------------------------------------------
> This week's sponsor:  Dare2 and Sunnyside Records
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> Following up his Grammy award-winning album Overtime, DAVE HOLLAND returns with 
> CRITICAL MASS, the first new studio album in five years from his highly 
> acclaimed quintet featuring CHRIS POTTER (tenor and soprano), STEVE NELSON 
> (vibes), ROBIN EUBANKS (trombone), and NATE SMITH (drums).  CRITICAL MASS 
> features eight road-tested, original compositions on record for the first time 
> and, of course, masterful performances by a jazz group that has become a 
> trademark for excellence in music.
> GOING FOR ADDS: 8/28 and 8/29
> IN STORES:  8/29
> Paper Scissors's OPK at: http://tinyurl.com/fkfls
> LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! -- 100 MP3 free copies of a new version Dave's classic tune 
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