Monday, September 17, 2007

Sonny Rollins- Salvador

Passport expired.

Yesterday's New York Times published a thoughtful essay by Ben Ratliff about Sonny Rollins' stubborn insistence on following his own muse. Many of the jazz giant's most ardent fans want him to return to the sax-bass-drums trio format. That sound can be heard in this 1959 clip. This selection from a 2000 recording defiantly issued as This Is What I Do features three of Rollins' most egregious choices, according to the critics cited in Ratliff's piece. It's a calypso. It features piano. And the bass is electric. While I dig the calypso format, I could do without the latter two elements. But the worst thing a genius of Rollins' caliber could do, of course, is acquiesce to the desires of fans- be they moldy figs or noisemongers. (Lesser talents, however, should gladly accept the advice of know-it-alls like me.) Rollins' celebratory tone on "Salvador" is infused with brash confidence, as if he's marking his territory.

The American Jazz Museum's "Street Festival" went extraordinarily well Saturday. My wrapup is here.

Kansas City Click: Gary Foster plays at the downtown Marriott.


Anonymous said...

What a terrifically enjoyable piece! Thanks for posting this bit of recent Rollins magic. Appreciate it!

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for reading and listening, Anon. Please note that the fine disc is on sale at Amazon for eleven dollars.