As long as we’re in a Festival mood this week, I thought I would offer a few well-chosen notes from our Official National Treasure Sonny Rollins, by way of his appearance with his Quintet at the 1977 Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. Recorded by NPR for their great and sadly missed Jazz Alive series on April 17, 1977.
I only wish the set was longer. But even at some 19 minutes, this offers further proof why Sonny Rollins is one of the most enduring and vibrant artists the Jazz world has ever seen.
An artist who has continuously explored, expanded and evolved – this set is only one phase of that legendary and far-reaching career. A few months ago I ran another Rollins collaboration; that one with Don Cherry from 1963. 14 years later, the journey continues.
For those of you just arriving at Sonny Rollins – check out as much of his material as you can – it is continuously fascinating and fortunately, well-documented. There’s a reason he’s America‘s National Treasure – a few notes will explain why.
Turn it up.