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:
- Rollins ’57: Sonny Rollins Takes the Lead: a profile of a great year for the saxophonist that closed out with one of his masterpieces, A Night at the Village Vanguard
- Sonny Rollins: Live in London: Rollins in uninhibited live club performance mode, circa 1965, in London
- Sonnymoon: Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins: the story of a musical friendship that produced some of the 1950s’ most compelling jazz records.
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.