Posts Tagged ‘Sonny Rollins’

Byrdland: Why Donald Byrd Mattered to Jazz, Its Legitimacy, and D.C.

When news of Donald Byrd’s death was finally confirmed by major news outlets on Monday, it had been four days since his nephew by marriage, the jazz pianist Alex Bugnon, had announced his passing on Facebook. Byrd—a trumpeter, composer, educator, and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master who was the founding director of Howard [...]

Arts Roundup: The Primary Criterion Is Excellence Edition

Foggy Bottom of the Heap: The Kennedy Center Honors are just the worst. WaPo's Paul Farhi has a report from the event, which is too expensive for you to attend, has nothing to do with anything ("The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence"), and is rich in this kind of scene: "The pre-show [...]

Don’t Be Bored: Brazen Sax

Eighty-one years old and becoming exceedingly frail, Sonny Rollins still throws himself into his tenor saxophone onstage. It’s actually a little frightening to see a man of grandfatherly age thrusting head and shoulders down towards his horn with force that would cause back spasms in much younger men. Then again, listen to the sounds he’s [...]

“I Don’t Have Any Notions of Grandeur”: A Conversation With Sonny Rollins

The consensus about Sonny Rollins is such that it's not even a matter of opinion anymore: The man is an Olympian in the world of jazz, its mightiest saxophone player who's on the very short list of the greatest improvisers in its history. At 81, he's slowed down his touring schedule considerably—although "slow" is not the word [...]

Jazz Setlist, October 6-12: The Colossus Returns

Friday, October 7
We all know easy-listening trumpeter Chris Botti, right? He wasn't always such light, soft fare. He moved to New York City in 1985, the story goes, to establish himself as the baddest young bebop trumpeter on the scene. But something happened there to scare him away from that goal, sending him running into [...]

Jazz Setlist: Nov. 26 – Dec. 2

Nov. 27
Antonio Parker is a smallish-built fellow, with dapper dress and a huge smile. His looks may leave you unprepared for his sound on the saxophone: 100 percent pure brawn. So much muscle is flexed in any one of his solos that his astonishing harmonic sense—trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse notes how he "devours the changes"—can almost be overlooked. Not [...]