Sonny Rollins
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1930-09-07
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Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins Biography (BBC)

The career of Sonny Rollins began in the bebop era of the 1940s, and stretches into the 21st century. He is one of the great innovators on tenor saxophone, with a restless improvising imagination that has often led him to play very long solos that wring every ounce of variety out of a tune.

He is also a great communicator on stage, with many of his pieces building on the West Indian calypso heritage, and grabbing the attention of his audience, in even the most complex improvisations. He grew up in New York, and was already playing at the highest professional level before he left high school. His first discs - including a blistering session with Bud Powell from 1948 - are remarkable, but he went on to even greater heights with Miles Davis in the early 1950s.

He replaced Harold Land with the Clifford Brown - Max Roach quintet, and continued to work with Roach after Brown's premature death. In 1956-7, as well as briefly rejoining Miles Davis, Rollins made an extraordinary sequence of albums that show the brilliant range of his creativity, as well as his utter rhythmic confidence, either sparring with Max Roach or (live at the Village Vanguard) with Elvin Jones.

After a retreat from public appearance in which he was often to be found practising outdoors on a Manhattan bridge, he returned to prominence in the 1960s, notably in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, but also in a recording group with Herbie Hancock. During this period he also began playing long unaccompanied improvisations, and this was to become a feature of his subsequent club and concert appearances.

After another period of retreat in the late 1960s (this time he went to India) Rollins returned to front his own group, which he has continued to do ever since. A typical concert includes many of his own calypso compositions, such as St Thomas or Don't Stop The Carnival, his extended workouts on well-known standards (a recent favourite is A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square) and fiery interaction with his other bandmembers, including long-serving bassist Bob Cranshaw, and trombonist Clifton Anderson.

Sonny Rollins Biography (Wikipedia)

Walter Theodore "Sonny" Rollins (born September 7, 1930) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist who is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. In a seven-decade career, he has recorded over sixty albums as a leader. A number of his compositions, including "St. Thomas", "Oleo", "Doxy", "Pent-Up House", and "Airegin", have become jazz standards. Rollins has been called "the greatest living improviser" and the "Saxophone Colossus".

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Sonny Rollins Performances & Interviews


Sonny Rollins Tracks

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Sonny Rollins
Sonnymoon For Two
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Sonnymoon For Two
Sonny Rollins
St. Thomas
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St. Thomas
Sonny Rollins
Alfie's Theme Differently
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Alfie's Theme Differently
Sonny Rollins
Doxy
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Doxy
Sonny Rollins
Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
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Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
Sonny Rollins
Step Lightly (Junior's Arrival)
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Step Lightly (Junior's Arrival)
Sonny Rollins
Moritat
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Moritat
Sonny Rollins
Alfie's Theme
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Alfie's Theme
Sonny Rollins
I'm An Old Cowhand
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I'm An Old Cowhand
Sonny Rollins
St Thomas
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St Thomas
Sonny Rollins
Oleo
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Oleo
Max Roach
Lover
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Lover
Sonny Rollins
East Broadway Run Down
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East Broadway Run Down

East Broadway Run Down

Performer
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (Bass), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Sonny Rollins
There Will Never Be Another You
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There Will Never Be Another You
Sonny Rollins
You Do Something to Me
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You Do Something to Me
Sonny Rollins
Brownskin Girl
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Brownskin Girl
Sonny Rollins
It Could Happen To You
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It Could Happen To You
Sonny Rollins
When Your Lover Has Gone
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When Your Lover Has Gone
Sonny Rollins
Don't Stop the Carnival
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Don't Stop the Carnival
Sonny Rollins
Where Are You?
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Where Are You?
Sonny Rollins
Without a Song
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Without a Song
Sonny Rollins
Sonnysphere
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Sonnysphere
Dizzy Gillespie
On the Sunny Side of the Street
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On the Sunny Side of the Street
Sonny Rollins
The Bridge
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The Bridge
Sonny Rollins
Way out West
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Way out West
Sonny Rollins
He's Younger Than You Are
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He's Younger Than You Are
Sonny Rollins
You
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You
Sonny Rollins
I've Told Every Little Star
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I've Told Every Little Star
Thelonious Monk
Bemsha Swing
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Bemsha Swing
Thelonious Monk
Brilliant Corners
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Brilliant Corners
Thelonious Monk
Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
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Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
Percy Heath
Friday the 13th
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Friday the 13th
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