Aurora and I went to see and hear Sonny Rollins at Symphony Hall in Boston on Sunday the 18th of April. He will have completed his 80th year this fall so this was billed as an early 80th birthday party. Man he wailed! Played non-stop for 90 minutes. He is the only horn in his group — the band included Bobby Broom on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass, Kobie Watkins on drums and Victor See-Yuen on congas. Its a great ensemble but the show was 95% Sunny. He played six long numbers, constantly improvising. He started out playing “Patanjali,” a three note anthem and he repeated the notes several times, then improvised, then went back to the notes. Powerfully. Clearly. Sounding out the notion that Sonny had come to play.

And play he did. You can read about it in this Review in the Boston Phoenix

The setting for jazz at Symphony Hall is challenging. There is only one musician’s name above the stage : Beethoven. But I think if he was looking down it was with admiration.

The crowd had people who looked to be about eight years old and those who might have been ninety. Sonny was elegant, dressed in white and just slightly stooped showing his age a bit. But his music and creativity never did. There was no encore but Sonny did promise to return to Boston “soon, real soon.” We hope he keeps his promise.

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