Today's videos feature the man sometimes referred to as "the heavyweight champion of the tenor saxophone," Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins. Webster University's Monday night concert series just did a tribute to the famous Rollins-Jim Hall collaboration on The Bridge, which has inspired our designation of today as a Sonny day. But rather that revisit that material - some of which is online as excerpts from an old TV special - we present two more recent clips featuring this master improvisor.
The first is about 14 minutes of of the so-called "rock quarry" footage from the film Saxophone Colossus, which was shown as part of the recent program at Webster. The second clip is from a 1982 performance in Montreal, with a backing band that features longtime Rollins collaborator Bob Crenshaw on bass and special guest Jack DeJohnnette on drums.
Finally, below you'll find a promotional video for Rollins' latest recording, Sonny, Please. In addition to starting his own label, Rollins is also podcasting and posting a series of videos on his Web site, featuring, as this clip does, a combination of interviews, performance footage and more. It's good to see a veteran musician of Rollins' stature embracing new ideas and technology to try to reach more listeners, and it'll be interesting to see if others follow suit.