Sonny Rollins Turns 77- rare unseen footage!

Revamped Web Site Celebrates With Rare Music & Video

Sonny Rollins turns 77 today -- September 7, 2007 -- and on the eve of the saxophonist's 50th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall, his newly revamped web site debuts, celebrating an extraordinary life in jazz.

Beginning today, and every day leading up to the Carnegie Hall concert on September 18, the site will be broadcasting rare performances, including a 1956 gig with the Max Roach/Clifford Brown All-Stars. Specifically, two different tracks from an unreleased June 2, 1956 engagement at Cleveland's Cotton Club by the Max Roach/Clifford Brown group, featuring a 25-year-old Sonny Rollins, will be broadcast on the site each day from now until September 18. The birthday celebration also includes a 1968 video of Sonny playing in quartet with Kenny Drew, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, and Albert "Tootie" Heath.

Since it premiered two years ago, on Sonny's 75 th birthday, http://sonnyrollins.com/ has attracted more than 750,000 visitors. The Sonny Rollins Podcast and additional video produced for Sonny by Bret Primack -- which appear on the site and YouTube and are available for download on iTunes -- have also found a sizable audience with over 300,000 views and downloads.

Primack has given the site an attractive facelift and added dynamic new content, including a multimedia biography; an enhanced shop that features all of Sonny's recordings currently in print, as well as lead sheets, transcriptions, arrangements, and books; and an expanded forum area that provides Sonny's global audience with a vehicle to interact and discuss the man and his music. "With all this video and interactivity, and by linking the site with YouTube and iTunes, as well as selling his own downloads, Sonny Rollins is uniquely positioned as an artist totally in tune with today's technology," Primack explains. "Sonny's utilization of this medium serves as the model for all musicians in the new millennium."

The Bridge
Sound of Sonny
Sonny Rollins: Jazz Play-Along Series Volume 33 (Jazz Play Along Series)
The Sonny Rollins Collection: Saxophone
Jazz Style of Sonny Rollins (Giants of Jazz)


Mike Mountain said...

Thank you for posting this David. Watching the 50 year interview lit a few lights. This man that is perfect to others seems to be so by virtue of the fact that he will never allow himself to be perfected. A truer lesson there never was...

MonksDream said...

Thanks for helping me eat up a good portion of Friday night checking out Sonny Rollins' amazing web content. First, I linked to some of the London Sessions, very similar to the Live at the Village Vanguard material.

After this, though, I checked out the Clifford Brown/Max Roach stuff and it was KILLING! The footage of Kenny Drew, Orsted-Pedersen, and "Tootie" Heath was revelatory, as I had never really checked out Drew's playing closely. He reminds me of Wynton Kelly at his best.

My eight-year old even asked me after watching some of the footage, "If you were a famous jazz musician, would we have a house in Hawaii?" Laughter ensued.

Adam said...

We'll be seeing him at the 50th Monterey Jazz Fest later this month. Any chance you'll be there?