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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Still Colossal: Happy 80th Birthday, Sonny Rollins

Programs from the Night Lights archives featuring live performances, a signal year, and Thelonious Monk.


Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Sonny time: a career that now spans more than 60 years in American jazz.

Night Lights wishes a happy 80th birthday today to Mr. Sonny Rollins, the tenor saxophone colossus who long ago earned his place in the pantheon of such jazz giants as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Max Roach – all of whom Rollins played with. Rollins’ adventurous spirit, oft-touted musical wit, and relentless improvisational prowess are all cause for an ongoing celebration of his talent and humanity. We are lucky to be in his presence.

In honor of the saxophonist’s birthday, here are several Rollins programs from the Night Lights archives:

Other Rollins Tributes

  • You can check out more Rollins music at NPR’s Take Five.
  • In case you missed it, Jazzwax’s Marc Myers published a wonderful account in the Wall Street Journal about accompanying Rollins on a tour of the saxophonist’s old stomping grounds in New York City last week.
  • The Root checked in with Rollins ahead of his upcoming September 10 concert performance.
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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