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Sonny Rollins Unable to Play--Did Everyone Else Know This?

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Yes I knew this about a year ago, a respiratory condition.  It is sad news, but what he played while he could was so powerful.  Hopefully we continue to see more Road Shows releases while he's around.

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Glad I saw him as often as I did. (I think I saw him at least once in every decade '60s-2010s.) 

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I want an autobiography.

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It is very sad to hear he has hung up his horn.  I'm not terribly surprised, as I thought he had retired, though it really is a shame it is due to heath conditions.  I'm glad I got to see him as often as I did -- I think four, maybe five times.

FWIW, I thought this was a solid interview with some interesting insights into Rollins' mindset.

 

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He says he still fingers his saxophone...if you have that George Braith LP where he sits in and plays a solo just on his pads...there's still music for him to make.

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I wish Sonny well, he's be generous with sharing so much great music with us. 

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Do you know about this movement to get the Williamsburg Bridge renamed after you?
I’m aware of it.

How do you feel about that?
Well, when I first began going up there, I found a spot on the bridge where I was unseen. Nobody riding on the subway could see me, and nobody driving in cars could see me. The boats down below couldn’t really see me either; I was hidden by the abutments from the bridge. I’m very flattered and appreciative, but I find the idea to want to name a place where I was trying to hide after me to be a bit funny.

^_^

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I saw Sonny at the Detroit Jazz Fest the fall before he retired, I believe, and I had front-row tickets for a concert he had to cancel due to his health issues.  I'm glad that I got to see him perform three times and that he is still with us and engaging with people.  If Sonny were to go on a speaking tour, to promote an autobiography or to just speak, it'd be a must-attend event.

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I did a phone interview with him in 2007 prior to his 50th anniversary concert and he told me he inhaled quite a bit of dust in his home in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and during a visit to it afterward.

 

That's a very nice interview, thanks for sharing it.

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2 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Do you know about this movement to get the Williamsburg Bridge renamed after you?
I’m aware of it.

How do you feel about that?
Well, when I first began going up there, I found a spot on the bridge where I was unseen. Nobody riding on the subway could see me, and nobody driving in cars could see me. The boats down below couldn’t really see me either; I was hidden by the abutments from the bridge. I’m very flattered and appreciative, but I find the idea to want to name a place where I was trying to hide after me to be a bit funny.

^_^

Spoken with truth, humility, and humor.

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He's given so much musically to the world. He should enjoy his remaining years. 

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Sonny is the shit.  In my opinion the greatest tenor player ever that has picked up the horn. He has so much music in him. The last times I saw him live I pulled out my iPhone and shot these two clips. 

 

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Also, now that he has some extra time, I'd like him to become a board member here.  I'd love to read his posts on threads like "So, What Are You Listening To NOW?", "Which Jazz box set are you grooving to right now?", "Which Mosaic Are You Enjoying Right Now?", "Sets you wish Mosaic would do", "Best track you heard all week", "Songs You don't want requested", "Duke Ellington - Post 1960 Recordings", and, of course, his thoughts on the latest Blindfold Test!

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It wasn't discussed in that interview, but pulmonary fibrosis is not a disease that can be slowed or significantly controlled through treatment. The median life expectancy after diagnosis is only 2-3 years, with 5 years being pretty much the best-case scenario. 

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I'm sure Sonny is aware of his time he has left. He's been putting things in order, such as donating to scholarship program and supplying the National Jazz Museum of Harlem with a ton of his personal artifacts. 

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Sonny has made it through 87 years. He's already in the "best case scenario" in that regard. :)

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I am happy that I saw Sonny play live 4 or 5 times over many decades.

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I only got to see him once, on his last tour of the West Coast and am so grateful I did. A real class act, in every way.

 

 

gregmo

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Saw him just the one time in my case - the lineup with Clifton Anderson and Bob Cranshaw. Very glad I got the chance to see him, what a great artist.

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