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Tenor Madness: Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and More

Sonny RollinsIgnore the terrrible headline (boy, that’s dignity for ya, after playing certain parts of your southern anatomy off for the past 60 years): Sonny Rollins is back in trio form tomorrow night at Carnegie Hall. The performance will be coupled on CD with Rollins’ debut at Carnegie 50 years ago for a Voice of America concert. In the meantime, a previously unreleased 1956 Rollins/Clifford Brown/Max Roach broadcast is still available for online listening at

Speaking of tenor greats and this week’s upcoming Trane ’57 Night Lights program, out this week: Interplay, a 5-CD set of Coltrane’s appearances on Prestige as a sideman between 1956 and 1958 (sans the Miles Davis material). It’s a companion to last year’s Fearless Leader collection (hmm… what is it about Trane that inspires these titles? I still cringe a bit at the old Atlantic box “Heavyweight Champion” moniker). And hey, where’s one of Coltrane’s most legendary “sideman” Prestige appearances? A certain “Tenor Madness” spot with a certain Mr. Rollins? MIA in the Concord packaging/marketing department, evidently…

Website odds and ends: Last weekend’s program, The Connection, is now archived for online listening. New adds to the links page: a very good Bobby Hutcherson site and Sound Opinions, rockin’ talk from the Windy City.

(Photo of Sonny Rollins by Chuck Stewart)

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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