Jazz Icons: Sonny Rollins - Live in '65 & '68
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Caught in Denmark/65 and 68 when Sonny Rollins was, well, SONNY ROLLINS, the tenorist looks, sounds and plays like a guy who is the Saxophone Colossus. With his head shaved and a sporting a groovy beard, Rollins does the trio format with NHOP/b and Alan Dawson/d in 65 for some room filling playing on "There Will Never Be Another You" and "Darn That Dream". The band glides like Katerina Witt on "Oleo/Sonnymoon for Two" as Rollins, with ever cool demeanor, tears of the layers of the piece like pealing an onion. The 68 quartet includes pianist Kenny Drew and drummer Tootie Heath along with NHOP and a bereted Rollins for a thunderous "Green Dolphin Street". Rollins' a capella intro, and 90 second closing cadenza, are simply heart stopping. Heath is having a good time during this set, humming along "St. Thomas" as he snaps, crackles and pops through the tune. Classic period of a classic tenor. -- JazzWeekly.com, George W. Harris, September 2008
For enthusiasts of archival treasures featuring the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who were put off by the variable quality of his recent compilation "Road Shows, Vol. 1," relief is here. The "Jazz Icons DVD" release of "Sonny Rollins, Live in `65 & `68," featuring performances filmed for television in Denmark, offers some of the best music that Rollins ever recorded -- in particular, the 1965 session, from the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. -- NewYorker.com, Richard Brody, December 9, 2008
Gift Guide: For the jazz lover who would appreciate the most invigorating jazz DVD released this year: "Sonny Rollins: Live in '65 and '68" (Jazz Icons) features the magisterial tenor saxophonist at the peak of his powers. He creates a sustained level of euphoria and invention in these European concerts. -- Detriot Free Press, Freep.com, Mark Stryker, December 20, 2008
Jazz Icons is doing for jazz what the Criterion Collection has done for classic and important films. -- Jazz Times Magazine
The sound quality is first rate, and the performances are extraordinary. -- Newsweek Magazine
This season has produced a bumper crop of worthy live releases by Sonny Rollins. First came "Live in '65 & '68," a gem from the latest series of "Jazz Icons" DVDs on Naxos (jazzicons.com). Consisting of a pair of concerts in Copenhagen originally taped for television broadcast, it finds Mr. Rollins, the great tenor saxophonist, in casual form but at a creative peak, improvising with an astonishing flow of ideas. In the loose but invigorating 1965 performance he digs in with Alan Dawson, a whip-smart and underdocumented Boston drummer, and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, a precociously nimble Danish bassist. The 1968 concert feels a bit more settled and less surprising, with Mr. Rollins and Mr. Orsted Pedersen alongside Kenny Drew on piano and Albert (Tootie) Heath on drums. In both instances there's a deceptively breezy version of Mr. Rollins's signature calypso "St. Thomas," and he makes each feel like a fresh opportunity. -- The New York Times, Nate Chinen, November 16, 2008
This, simply put, is one of the top few saxophonists in jazz at his sure peak. The genius of 1956 was brilliant, and the icon of today is an elegant wonder, but the Sonny Rollins of the `60s was the Sonny Rollins you want captured forever at a true peak. Feast on it. -- PopMatters.com, Will Layman, April 8, 2009
Top Customer Reviews
~ In both concerts Sonny is at a creative peak, improvising with an astonishing flow of ideas. The 1965 performance is loose but invigorating while the 1968 concert feels a bit more settled and less surprising.
~ The 1965 concert offers excellent versions of "There Will Never Be Another You", "Darn That Dream", "Oleo / Sonnymoon for Two", "Three Little Words", and his signature tune "St. Thomas".
~ The 1968 concert reprises "St. Thomas" and adds outstanding versions of "Four" and "On Green Dolphin Street", in which Rollins starts with an a capella intro and closes with a 90 second. Heath is having a good time during this set, humming along "St. Thomas" as he snaps, crackles and pops through the tune.
~ Informative twenty-four page booklet. Excellent cinematography, and very good sound.
~ Highly recommended for students of improvisation and Sonny's vast legion of admirers. This is classic Sonny Rollins from what people consider his classic period.
The trio hook-up with Alan Dawson and NHOP is otherworldly!! The sound quality of both sets, the '65 trio and '68 quartet, is fantastic. This amazing music will improve your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sonny Rollins is relaxed and alert and seems always to be in tune to the music he and the others are playing. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Dean Shaffer
To watch Sonny Rollins play is truly an honor. This video captures the Master Rollins at his uniquely best. Bravo!Published on March 25, 2013 by Jeff
Sonny Rollins is a super giant of the sax and his work on this DVD is outstanding and I have watched it twice.Published on December 23, 2012 by Louis Flowers