Night Lights Classic Jazz

Sonny Rollins returning to Carnegie to record new CD

RollinsRemember all the hoopla (well-deserved) a couple years back over the 1957 Voice of America concert that featured John Coltrane with Thelonious Monk? It came out on CD via Blue Note (rather quickly, as things go in the oft-difficult world of jazz reissues and estate rights) to much acclaim, and it still ranks as one of the historic finds in the annals of lost-and-found jazz recordings.

Coltrane and Monk were not the only performers that evening; the bill included Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker and Zoot Sims, Billie Holiday, and Sonny Rollins–with Rollins appearing in the then-still-novel sax/bass/drums trio format. All of the acts, save for Holiday, were recorded as well; Rollins’ appearance came weeks on the heels of his Village Vanguard trio gigs immortalized on LP by Blue Note.

Now we’re going to get to hear the set that Rollins did that night, on the same CD that will include his upcoming return trio performance at Carnegie Hall on Sept. 18, with jazz legend Roy Haynes on drums and Christian McBride on bass. Rollins, in fact, will play the same repertoire that he played 50 years ago at Carnegie. I once did a Night Lights program on such revisitations, but I don’t ever recall one being done 50 years after the fact. (Not that I’d be able to “recall,” per se… I haven’t even lived 50 years.) In any event, the concert and its predecessor will be released on CD in the spring of 2008 by Rollins’ own label, Doxy Records.

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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