After 60 years of playing tenor sax, Sonny Rollins thinks he just might be getting the hang of it.
By Fred Kaplan at 'NYMag'
Sonny Rollins, saxophone colossus, turns 80 on September 7. You wouldn’t know it to see him standing at the front of the bandstand, one of the last of the jazz legends, unleashing his soul through the frantic force of brash and sinuous improvisations, much as expressionist painters once attacked their canvases with color. On his best nights, Rollins rides the rhythm for chorus after chorus, no two alike, exploring every avenue that a chord or melody opens up. Then, just as you think he’s exhausted all possibilities, he darts into some uncharted alley and invents a whole new way of phrasing music—all the while never losing his grip on the pulse, shape, or swing of the song.