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Sonny Rollins Concert in NZ


Senior Member
This coming weekend Sonny Rollins is playing one concert only in Wellington, it is his first trip to NZ, I have a ticket and can hardly wait to see and hear him.

I'll let you know all about it later!

Cheers & Ciao



Well-Known Member
Luck Bugger ...

Have a great time mate ...

Wish I could be there, but halfway round the world is just outside my range ... ;}


Wow. I hope and pray that someone is capturing this stuff on video. I know, if wishes were horses and beggars could ride...


Senior Member
Now back at home base.

The Sonny Rollins Concert was fantastic.

Travelling in from my brothers place in the Suburbs of Wellington by train I managed to listen to an interview he did on an Australian Radio Show from a link on the free Sonny Rollins App (which is brilliant for news and listening to his music and videos as well)

This interview was quite an insight into his mental condition at the age of 81.

Apparently he did two other interviews in New Zealand I've not heard yet but will track down and post links to them here!

In spite of sitting quite a way from the stage the sound was great. There was signs saying no photo's or audio recording, I had taken my little mini disc in to do just that, but obeyed the rules (wish I hadn't now as the material was top class and inspirational to me)

I took notes in the semi darkness.

The band he had was as you'd expect top class with huge pedigrees.
Bob Cranshaw...Electric Bass
Kobie Watkins... drums
Sammy Figueroa...Percussionist....mainly congo's
Peter Bernstein.... Rythm Guitar

This combo was heavy on the rythm and really gave Sonny plenty of backing and support!
I had not seen Sonny play live before and he is indeed a master.
His presence on the stage though quite humble is commanding with the large grey afro hair and beard, wearing a bright yellow loose fitting shirt.
He is having trouble walking now (hips I think), hobbling around the stage, the playing postures he assumes are quite extreme, really hunkering down to get into his solos, he really does bend forward with the full weight of the tennor, must be quite tough on him though I think this is his prefered style of playing, as he can stand quite upright and play.
I really got the impression he was still driving this band and had the confidence just to sit out of the lime light of some numbers to conserve his energy.
He often plays one handed (taking his right hand off) and uses that to accentuate or motion the phrase he's playing.
I think he even finished one number by circular breathing.

He talked a little and showed the same confidence he does playing his horn. The Spirit of the man really does shine through and the audience picked up on it very early in the concert.

I will always remember the look he gave to the audience when he appeared to be struggling to get some notes, and ran out of wind, he took the horn out of his mouth, gave a look of appology and started playing again!

He was trading fours with both of the drummers.

For us mear mortals listening in the audience it was a supreme lesson in improvisation, rythmic, soulfull, gutsie, and pure joy.

We gave him a standing ovation,.... he returned to motion thanks from the heart, but didn't play an encore....I think he had no more energy left!

This performance will be hard to match by any current Saxophonist that I can think of..... let alone at the age of 81


Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Seen him twice in London years ago,still my all time best gigs.I just laughed and grinned all the way through,he is so witty when he plays.Still my ultimate Tenor jazz player of all time.He takes rhythm to his playing like no other.Long may he keep playing.
Saxholder Pro
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