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Sonny Please Import

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 23, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins releases Sonny, Please -his first studio recording in five years - on Emarcy / Doxy Records, his own label. The album was released digitally on November 21, with the traditional CD release date set for January 23, 2007. The new CD captures his working band "at a good pitch," as he puts it. "Anytime you do a string of performances, it tightens up the ensemble, and the band was playing well-very high-powered." The album is a mix of Rollins originals and indelible standards, including the assertive title track which takes its name from "something my wife [Lucille] always used to say: `Sonny, Please!'" "Sonny is really playing on this record," concurs Clifton Anderson, Rollins's longtime trombonist who also served as the new CD's producer. "Each track has its own beautiful distinction, yet there's a clear continuity throughout the recording." In addition to Anderson, the group is comprised of bassist Bob Cranshaw, an esteemed Rollins collaborator since 1959; guitarist Bobby Broom and drummer Steve Jordan, both of whom had worked with Sonny on prior occasions in the 1980s; and the percussionist Kimati Dinizulu, who joined the band six years ago. Rollins won the Grammy in 2001 for This Is What I Do and again in 2005 for "Why Was I Born?" (from Without A Song -The 9/11 Concert), in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category. In addition, Sonny received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004 and was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 2006.

Now in his mid-70s, Sonny Rollins plays with undiminished passion on this, his first new studio recordings in five years. Sonny, Please also marks a turning point in Rollins's life: his wife died in 2004, and he soon thereafter departed Milestone Records to set up his own Doxy imprint, ending one of the longest artist-label relationships in jazz. Playing selections that date back to his youth (such as Noël Coward's "Someday I'll Find You," on which he rolls out melodic lines as if from a beautiful and endless spool) as well as his own originals, the set flows with the compelling vigor of a giant who carries himself with the utmost humility. A powerful soloist, Rollins has seen the years bring even more depth to his musical explorations. As part of a supple sextet, his lines dance around the trombone of Clifton Anderson (who also produced the set) with grace and invention. --David Greenberger

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B000IMV4FA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,188 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Allan Harmeyer on February 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I caught Sonny in a live performance this past November, so I got to hear at least 3 tracks off of his most current album...Sonny Please. He opened the set with a fiery "Sonny Please" which smoked for a good 15 minutes (I believe that Victor Lewis was on traps that night so the percussion section helped do the driving). For a man approaching 77 years of age, I was impressed with not only Sonny's playing and gracious presence, but his stamina in performing two 40 - 50 minute sets. Trust me, the man can still play! This album may not be another "Saxophone Colossus" or "The Bridge", but it is a solid recording and should satisfy a majority of Sonny's fans. If you have no recorded music by this jazz legend, this CD is a respectable starting point.
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Five Stars are not enough! This Grammy-nominated CD deserves SIX, showing Sonny Rolllins is STILL "the Saxophone Colossus". Completing the DownBeat Readers Poll 'tri-fecta' win in 2006, Sonny was voted "Jazz Artist of the Year", "#1 Tenor Sax", and the "9/11" concert CD was the 2006 Jazz CD of the Year, but this CD is even better. By winning the 2006 Grammy for "Jazz Instrumental Solo" for "Why Was I Born" on the "9/11" CD, Sonny has not sat on his laurels but is still turning out exceptional CDs and live performances like this one. And "Sonny, Please" ranks as one of Sonny's best, delivered at age 77, no less. Sonny has been a part of my personal musical landscape for most of my life and it's been a wonderful experience to behold, in person and on recordings.

Bassist Bob Cranshaw's association with Mr Rollins goes back to the era of "Our Man In Jazz" on RCA Victor. Bobby Broom's highly inventive guitar is added instead of the usual piano, allowing the group to levitate over floating vamps like on "Sonny, Please". Rollins longtime stablemate and producer of this CD, Clifton Anderson's trombone is spare and exciting in solo and support, blowing hot liquid notes. Rounding out the group are the tasteful drummer Steve Jordan and the colorful percussionist Kimati Dinizulu.

The Pieces De Resistance, the best of the best, begin with the title song, "Sonny, Please", based on a favorite phrase of Sonny's late wife, Lucille, and it is a burning experience. Riding on a three-note pedal point, Mr Rollins uncorks one of his best thematic solos on record.
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Format: Audio CD
Sonny Rollins has really made strides in jazz. From his work with Thelonious Monk until now, Sonny has been a key figure in the innovation of jazz (with an angle on island music). His style has always been a bridge between tropic music and classic jazz.

Now, in his 70's--the jazz patron has done something great here. He has finally molded a style that is tropic, classic, and electric. The sound of the music here is new, as it combines elements of all three styles.

Sonny has a passion in his blowing that reminds jazz patrons of his Saxophone Colossus years. He has a passionate take on Sonny Please that will blow you socks off (I wonder why they didn't let the whole take go? It fades at around 8 minutes of his solo----so what? He can go for's SONNY).

Of the work with guitarists (after the Jim Hall sessions) and with electric bass, this is my personal favorite. I'm happy to say those who like classic jazz, island jazz, African world music, Latin jazz, or 70-80 traditional jazz will all love this album.

4 stars---5 if next time, you let Sonny blow until he chokes--as every note he plays adds to the meaning of the message.
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I have 7 Sonny Rollins albums from the 50s and 60s plus a few others where he participated as a sideman with the Clifford Brown/Max Roach quintet and Thelonious Monk. Also the classic Sonny Side Up album that starred Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt. They are all outstanding albums. I only recently started checking out some more recent jazz CDs and was happy to see that Sonny was still alive and kicking. I got this CD and think it is a terrific album. Sonny's playing is still amazing. He can still knock off exciting upbeat solos as well as beautiful ballads. I also enjoy the combination of Rollin's sax with Clifton Anderson's trombone throughout the CD.

The album is full of variety and every single tune is enjoyable -- never boring. I wish I could say the same about another saxophone star from the 60s, Wayne Shorter, but I have found recent albums from him(Footprints Live, Alegria, and Beyond the Sound Barrier) less enjoyable. Shorter's quartet consists of outstanding musicians who are all capable of inventive improvisation, but many of their tunes lack structure and energy and blur into each other. They are good albums, but require careful listening and are not as much fun as Sonny's recent albums. If you're looking for another contemporary saxophone CD, I would check out Back East by Joshua Redman (which actually pays tribute to Sonny's classic Way Out West album).

I actually saw Sonny play some of this album at the 50th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall on 9/19/2007. It was exciting for me since I had never seen him in concert before. Needless to say, he was amazing.

One final note: Sonny recorded "Someday I'll Find You" with a trio on his Freedom Suite album in 1958. If you like the performance here, check out the older album for comparison. Obviously, the two performances are quite different given the completely different instrumentation. The more recent version is twice as long.
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