15-06-07

Sonny Rollins

A news item from the All About Jazz website:

Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall 9/18: A Live Recording, with Trio

On the evening of November 29, 1957, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins,
then 27 years old, took to the stage of Carnegie Hall for the first
time. Sharing the bill that night with Billie Holiday, Ray Charles,
and the Thelonious Monk Quartet featuring John Coltrane, Rollins
played three songs - "Moritat," "Sonnymoon for Two," and "Some
Enchanted Evening" - with bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Kenny
Dennis.

Come September 18, 2007, Rollins will mark the 50th anniversary of
that milestone in his legendary career by revisiting the same
repertoire in the same trio format - with special guests Roy Haynes on
drums and Christian McBride on acoustic bass. Sonny's own Oleo
Productions will present the concert, which will also feature a set
with his working band of Clifton Anderson, Bobby Broom, Bob Cranshaw,
and Kimati Dinizulu.

"We're making a statement with this event," says Rollins. "First of
all, the concert is being produced in-house by the musicians, and
being recorded for my own label [Doxy]. It's also a validation of the
contemporaries that Roy and I played with, and an affirmation of the
music we've been involved with all our lives."

For a 25-year period beginning in the 1970s, Rollins's special- guest
concerts - usually held at Carnegie Hall but sometimes at Town Hall or
the Beacon Theater instead - were perennial highlights of the jazz
calendar. Among the musicians to appear as Sonny's guests were old
friends and young lions: Terence Blanchard, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles
Mingus, Branford Marsalis, Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Grover Washington
Jr., Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis. The last such event took place at
the Beacon, where Sonny hosted Percy Heath, Walter Bishop Jr., Jackie
McLean, Gil Coggins, and Wallace Roney way back in November 1995.

That 12-year hiatus is now over. "Let's take it to the bridge," Roy
Haynes says of the September concert. "I can't wait!"

Tickets go on sale Monday, July 30, online at www.carnegiehall.org; by
phone (CarnegieCharge) at 212-247-7800; or at the box office at 57th
Street and 7th Avenue. The concert recording, to be released in spring
2008 by Doxy Records, will also include the 1957 trio material, a
20-minute tape recently made available to Rollins by the Library of
Congress.

Roy Haynes and Sonny Rollins had a number of opportunities to work
together early in the tenor saxophonist's career. (Haynes, 82,
remembers that the younger Rollins "used to come to my house, but I
didn't even know he played an instrument then.") Their first
professional encounter was also Rollins's first time in the recording
studio, on an April 1949 Babs Gonzales session. Soon to follow were
dates with Bud Powell in August 1949, Miles Davis in January 1951, and
Sonny's own debut as a leader in that same 1951 session. Haynes was
the drummer for Rollins's first Riverside recording, The Sound of
Sonny, in June 1957, and for a 1958 Newport Jazz Festival appearance
with bassist Henry Grimes. Their final meeting on record came in July
1958, for Sonny Rollins and the Big Brass (MGM).

"The great Roy Haynes," says Rollins, "one of the top drummers in jazz
history, has been my buddy and friend for many years - all the way
back to the Hill [Sugar Hill, in Harlem]. I am so lucky to have him
this night at Carnegie Hall."

Christian McBride, 35, was brought to the project on a recommendation
from Haynes, with whom he had toured and recorded on several
occasions. "When a musician is highly praised by all of his fellows,"
Rollins says, "it means something. I am looking forward to having this
opportunity to play with Christian."

Less than a week after the Carnegie Hall concert - on September 23 -
Sonny Rollins will perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival, which is
celebrating its own 50th anniversary. Sonny appeared at the very first
Monterey festival, in 1957.

Rollins, who (along with Steve Reich) received the Polar Music Prize
in Stockholm last month and gave a concert while there, will be
returning to Europe for a seven-city tour this fall. His itinerary for
the remainder of 2007 includes the following concerts, in addition to
Carnegie Hall and Monterey:

6/22 Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC; 6/24 Jazzfest International,
Royal Theater, Victoria, BC; 7/14 Perugia (Italy) Jazz Festival; 7/27
Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM; 7/29 Lensic Performing Arts Center,
Santa Fe, NM; 8/11 Jazz in Marciac (France); 9/21 Schnitzer
Auditorium, Portland, OR; 10/13 Music Hall Center for the Performing
Arts, Detroit; 11/16 Palau de la Musica, Barcelona; 11/19 Teatro de la
Maestranza, Seville; 11/21 Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; 11/24
Barbican Theatre, London; 11/26 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; 11/29 Opera
Rainier, Monte Carlo; 12/1 Salle Pleyel, Paris.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=14172

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