Saturday, August 08, 2009
Today's video showcase spotlights the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who's coming to town to perform in a concert sponsored by Jazz St. Louis on Saturday, September 19 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
There's lots of Rollins video material available online, including many vintage clips as well as a bunch of recent interviews and short documentary-style pieces, many of them done for Rollins by Bret Primack, aka the Jazz Video Guy. You can see those pieces by following the links to Rollins' and Primack's respective sites; for the purposes of this post, we'll concentrate on some relatively recent performance footage, the better to give a taste of what the tenor titan's concert here may be like.
On top, we have Rollins playing one of his most famous compositions, the calypso-flavored "St. Thomas," in a performance from October 2008 at a music festival in Brazil. There's a lot of room ambiance in the audio for this clip, but it's listenable enough, and it gives a nice visual perspective on the interactions of Rollins and his band members.
Next up is a Rollins unaccompanied solo rendition of "In a Sentimental Mood," recorded in 2007 in Brussels. Finally, there's a clip with some excerpts from Rollins' performance last August at the JVC Jazz Festival; the tunes excerpted include the title track from his most recent CD, Sonny, Please, along with "Someday I'll Find You" and "Global Warming."