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Crouch on Rollins

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Well, being both a Rollins nut and a Michael Caine fan, I picked up a few years ago a VHS commercial copy of the film.  Lo and behold, instead of Cher's warbling at the end, the viewer with receptive ears is treated to the sounds of Rollins wailing, wailing I say, during the closing credits.  To me it was an unexpected thrill to make this discovery.

Is your VHS copy the one released as part of the "Joan Collins Romance Library" or something like that? (seriously) I ask because I picked that one up in a clearance bin just to have for archival purposes, but I've never actually watched it (I know...).

But if it's got Sonny playing over the ending credits instead of Cher (whose version I always found jarring, both on its own and in the context of the film), it might be time to schedule a viewing,,,

No mention of Joan Collins Romance Library on the box. I recall that I did order it online. The spine on the VHS simply has the film title and the number "6604" above the Paramount logo. The VHS copyright date is 1988.

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I hear Crouch is opening up for Sonny these days - in drag -

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Will he look like Joan Collins?

Geez, that's a question with no good answers...

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I would think more like Ma Rainey, on a very, very, very bad day. :g

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Kind of scary to know that there are folks who are expert in PhotoShop reading this thread.

Mike

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I don't believe that "Alfie" was any more of a "hit" than a number of other Rollins LP's;

I do. I suspect people bought it who thought they'd hear the Burt Bacharch song.

I wonder what kind of music Sonny Rollins would have cooked up for The Ipcress File?

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let's not forget, by the way, that Bacharach's Alfie is quite an amazingly written song - complicated but catchy -

Edited by AllenLowe

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well, as long as he can sing...

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That's a scary site, Mike. Is Stanley that much in love with himself or is there a blind, illiterate nut on the loose?

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Mr Rollins in "real drag" mode is better than Sonny Stitt.

Quite true, Mr. Nessa.

Several years ago I saw him in Montreal with a group that had a drummer and percussionist that were, let's say, not team players. The rhythmn was all over the place and no place at the same time. It was actualy hard to listen to.

Through the whole very long concert, Sonny played his heart out with long solos, of course, and vigor, to say the least. It was like he didn't want to give up or in to the flaying going on all around him.

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Had the good fortune of seeing Rollins with Marvin Smitty Smith exploding behind him. It was one of those nights. Also heard him with just hand drums, no drummer on the set, and, though less estatic and sometimes meandering, none the less hit several brilliant passages. Rollins recent recordings with either Idris Muhammad or Jack DeJohnette are fine in the drum department. People seem to have trouble with his electric bass in the ensemble but somehow manage to leave Shirley Horn alone on that account (as it is a made up issue). Though Perry Wilson is unknown to me except through Sonny Rollins his drumming isn't embarassing.

The thing is Sonny Rollins is alive and speaks clearly about his music -- that's the premise in this article I don't know about, that he isn't talkative. When I compared his approach to improvisation with Earl Hines' he was plenty talkative, but didn't gush or lose it. He's to the point.

In any case if he's tired of the whole business of talking about his music now, then he certainly has racked up enough column inches over his career, reems of direct quotes and how many taped interviews? to be more interesting on the subject of his own music than anyone else.

Would much rather read what HE has to say about "Did You See Harold Vick?" after reading Jim's comments on that tune than what Stanely offers here. Though I'll check out "Silver City." I guess "writers" are supposed to like that, though "G-Man" was a pick hit of the scribes since it first blew out the speakers.

Edited by Lazaro Vega

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still...I wish they had put Sonny, over the years, with players like William Parker or Jason Moran, or Mark Ribot, etc etc etc - than we mighta seen something besides bad fake-fusion tunes -

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Then or now, I don't think that William Parker & Sonny Rollins would be a good fit.

As anybody who's seen him live on a good night can vouch for, all Sonny really needs is to feel comfortable within himself. Then, the odds are better than even that the magic can and will happen. Being "challenged" by his sidemen is obviously not what it takes for him to feel comfortable these days (and think about it - who can really challenge Sonny Rollins? William Parker? HA!), nor has it been for quite some time.

What "we" all seem to ne longing for is some, even just one, more "landmark" albums. Again, that seems to not be an especially high priority for Mr. Rollins, nor has it been for quitesome times. I read a quote from him where he siad that he now views albums as a "neccesary product" (or words to that effect) to keep one's name in front of the public. Nothing more. Given his legendary aversion to the recording process, I'd say that speaks for itself.

Now, whether that attitude towards recording (and bandleading) is an act of cowardice or defiance (or a mixture thereof) is a call that everybody has to make for themselves. We've had that discussion numerous times here and on Board Krypton, and I have nothing new to add. But - there are tapes of live shows from the last 30+ years floating around, and the relatively few that I've heard range from average to spectacular to beyond, so the rumors of Mister Rollins' demise are greatly exaggerated, I should think. It just depends on where you look for the evidence.

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well, I'm not necessarily talking about recording situations - I've heard Sonny live maybe 15 times since the 1970s, certainly not a representative sampling, but enough to disappoint me regularly - sometimes when I read rave reviews of Sonny's concerts, they sound more like wishful thinking to me... I think a dose of William Parker, or someone like him, is exactly what Sonny needs. I don't really think that quoting Sonny on this resolves anything, as I think his judgement in these things has proven to be extremely poor over the last 30 years. What he really needs are some youngsters who have a true sense of song form and its various methods of extension. And no conga drums or whetever miscellaneous percussion they dump on him (or he dumps on himself) - and no more tiny microphone that makes it sound like he's playing into a tin can - just my opinion -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Well, that would give you the Sonny Rollins that you want to hear, but would it give Sonny Rollins the Sonny Rollins that he wants to hear?

Not that that resolves anything, mind you. But the cat can still play, hey, so whatever makes him feel like playing is what he should go for, imo. If "we" don't like it, we can get our own band and play what we wish he would play the way we wish he would play it. :g:g:g

Edited by JSngry

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I like that idea - kind of a Sonny Rollins ghost band while he's still here - the Sonny Rollins trio without Sonny- Sonny Minus One - Sonnymoon for Us - I'm willing to do it as long as Sonny promises he won't sue -

Edited by AllenLowe

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If "we" don't like it, we can get our own band and play what we wish he would play the way we wish he would play it. :g:g:g

That's easy for you professional tenor players to say!

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If "we" don't like it, we can get our own band and play what we wish he would play the way we wish he would play it.  :g  :g  :g

That's easy for you professional tenor players to say!

Wanna bet?

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I, too, used to fantasize that Mr. Rollins would one day make the album I really wanted him to. Then I grew up... Sonny does what he wants; dig it or not.

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There is a quote in Crouch's piece that poignantly sums up Rollins' dilemma (or one of them -- and while it's not a problem that's unique to him among jazz musicians, well...):

"...I never really liked being a bandleader, because if things didn't sound good, all the disappointment fell on me. At the same time, I couldn't be the real Sonny unless I was leading the band. So it was a riddle I couldn't solve, and I don't think I solved it for a long time. Now, even though I still don't really like it, they have my name up there and I have to show up and call the tunes and lead the musicians I've hired to play with me."

Reading between the lines, this speaks volumes, I think, especially when it's placed alongside Rollins' memories of working with Clifford Brown: "He didn't try to mislead you and stunt your growth like some of the competitive guys out there. Being around him lifted me up completely. Near the end, we got that unified sound you almost never hear -- there was no saxophone, no trumpet."

To coin (or modify) a phrase, jazz musicians are just like everyone else only more so.

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Good quote Larry, but I don't think Sonny's prob is even unique to jazz; I think Clapton and Beck have spent most of their careers either trying to solve or to ignore this riddle. Clapton recently squared his circle at the Albert Hall, maybe Rollins will too, but who's left for him to do that with? And on a related note does anyone else think rollins may have avoided playing with Lee Morgain cause he was too close to Clifford, or am I just projecting?

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