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Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Sep 14, 2010.
Sonny, Ornette, Roy Haynes & Christian MacBride
I thought about making the trip to see that show, but just couldn't make it happen. Did you go? Was Sonny "on" all night?
Thanks for posting this.
I wouldn't be surprised to see this show released as a CD and/or DVD.
No, I've heard Sonny a few times and was blissfully unaware of the "special guest" aspect of the concert. **** me!
That was absolutely surreal. Loved it!
Nate Chinen's review in the NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/arts/music/13rollins.html
A Master Class in Going the Distance, With No Compromises
By NATE CHINEN
Any concert by Sonny Rollins, the great unflagging sovereign of the tenor saxophone, bears the promise of a momentous occasion. His sold-out show at the Beacon Theater on Friday night delivered rapturously on that promise, with something else besides. Conceived as an 80th birthday celebration for Mr. Rollins, the concert found him in high spirits, in strong form and, for a generous stretch, in rare distinguished company. It was an evening worthy of an American master, and primarily because he made it so.
He’s no less imposing a figure now than in his heralded youth, despite the stoop in his stance and the stiffness in his gait. Pacing the stage in a tuniclike white shirt, his head topped by a cumulonimbus of hair, he called to mind an Old Testament prophet, a figure of adamant authority. The dark-oak squawk of his horn was a constant, through fits and starts and unfurled elaborations. His solos, forever steeped in effort, periodically brought him to an inspired plane of thought, the notes themselves seeming to propel him forward.
The concert’s culminating moment, the one that flagged the evening as historic, involved a pair of unannounced guests, starting with the drummer Roy Haynes, who is 85 and seems maybe half that age. As he did for a concert at Carnegie Hall a few years ago, Mr. Haynes joined Mr. Rollins in a trio with the bassist Christian McBride, 38, whose nimble style and enveloping sound make the absence of a chordal instrument seem negligible. They assayed “Solitude” at a gentlemanly tempo, Mr. Rollins and Mr. McBride swapping improvised asides. Eventually Mr. Haynes took over, with a solo of quick and startling intensity, a Florida thunderstorm hijacking a midsummer afternoon.
Next up was a blues, “Sonnymoon for Two,” on which Mr. Rollins seemed distracted at first, bleating tentative phrases rather than hitting a stride. He then stepped to the microphone and, in a hopeful tone, implored his next mystery guest onto the stage. It was the alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, the patriarch of free jazz, who also turned 80 this year. Given that no one can seem to recall a public collaboration by Mr. Rollins and Mr. Coleman — mutual admirers and reciprocal influences — this was worth the wait.
Bending at one knee as he approached his host, Mr. Coleman was soon weaving through the tune, in his own enigmatic dialect, a waft of bright, interrogatory phrases. And what followed was extraordinary: Mr. Rollins, obviously inspired, picked up the thread, foraging outside the established key, with a frontier intrepidness that was nevertheless true to his own voice. Both saxophonists committed without compromise, and while the results were jangling and imperfect, it was a brave imperfection, a meaningful one.
Earlier Mr. Rollins had enjoyed a smoother convergence with the guitarist Jim Hall, 79, a former sideman and now a jazz legend himself. Their two-song interlude began in slight uncertainty, with a tentative “In a Sentimental Mood.” The second tune, “If Ever I Would Leave You,” which they recorded together in the early 1960s, was immeasurably better. Riding the light fizz of a bossa nova beat, Mr. Rollins phrased the melody carefully, as if articulating the lyrics, then ceded the floor to Mr. Hall, who fashioned a graceful solo, before following suit.
The band for that stretch — and a previous swath of the concert, with and without the trumpeter Roy Hargrove — featured Mr. Rollins’s longtime bassist Bob Cranshaw, the guitarist Russell Malone, the drummer Kobie Watkins and the percussionist Sammy Figueroa. They performed with neat precision and, crucially, a balance of subtlety and drive. And during the jubilant encore — inevitably, “St. Thomas,” Mr. Rollins’s best-loved calypso — they welcomed all of the evening’s guests except for Mr. Coleman. Things got a bit crowded then, but there was unmistakable clarity at the core. His name was Sonny Rollins, and he sounded as if he could keep going forever.
is Christian using a pick up?
I don't see any mics, and although I think I see a plug, I don't see the actual patch cord on the floor...
Alright, isn't youtube the best!
Jesus. That's too much. We're so lucky that they are both around to regale us. Just a side note, not to derail the thread. Here's some Sonny I found in the related searches.
It's funny, if you DOUBLED Christian's age, he would still have been the youngest cat on the stand...
Ohh!! It's very frustrating I saw this thread somewhere where I cannot view vids and now I come to see it and it's gone! I'm sure it was very unique and profound music.
I saw Sonny this year at Montreal Jazz fest and it was incredible. Great sound, big sound from the very first note, it was a blast to hear a master!
The year before, I saw Ornette at the same festival and it was the best show of my life !!! I'm not even that into free jazz or exploratory music and the pure beaty of the music that night blew me away!!
p.s. nice vid Jason, love that song!
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