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Sonny is coming to town next weekend on the 21st. My wife got us tickets. I'm really looking forward to it. Haven't seen him in about five years. If I remember right he is playing at Carnagie Hall on the 18th. It's his fiftieth anniversary of the first time he played there. He is supposed to play the same tunes he played that night.

Anybody here going to see that?

Anybody ever meet Sonny and want to relate the story?
 

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Yes, I have 2 tickets for the Carnegie Hall gig and am really looking forward to it. Should be a great night. My understanding is the gig is going to be released as part of an upcoming album due out on DOXY records in 4/08....

I met him in April here in Boston after the Symphony Hall enagement and he was great: very friendly, humble....just a decent person to all the folks waiting in the cold at the stage door... a great memory....
 

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I have met him also and have stayed in contact with his bassist, Bob Cranshaw. He was very supportive of me, being a young musician and it was a great experience to meet my idol.
 

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The Master...

I'll try and make this short. A friend of a friend ask me if I wanted to help volenteer for the PDXJAZZ festival commitee that has put the Portland gig together. So, I picked Sonny up at the airport in a nice rented sedan and my new friends drove a 15 passenger van and SUV to transport the band and all their gear to the hotel downtown.

Wow! Where did this come from? I must be doing something right. Things have not been going really well in my life for an uncomfortably long time, but a couple weeks ago somebody that I don't even know gave me two box sets of early Miles and Young Miles. It was out of the blue just like this Sonny thing.

It was such a thrill to meet him. He is a very warm and personable guy. I also noticed that he was very guarded when he encountered some fan that had been waiting all day in front of the hotel with a big stack of records to get signed. He didn't want to do it, but he was very gracious and did sign about six album jackets for the guy. I wouldn't have, and if Sonny would have balked at all, I would have told the cat to buzz off and ushered Sonny into the Lobby.

I have met some famous people like Mario Andretti, that have had to deal with gushing fans most of their lives. I mean, what do you say? I tried not to say too much and let him do the talking. When he found out that I have been into his music for thirty years and played tenor, I felt him let that guard down and he easily engaged me in questions about how much things had changed since he was last here and the weather.

I ask him how the Carnnegie hall concert went. He was very self efacing. He said, "I'm the wrong guy to ask. It was allright". At one point I was trying to navigate onto the right freeway and didn't say anything so that I didn't blow the exit. Sonny started telling me about the gig and the pressure he felt because his group produced the show. I was listening as hard as I could and drive at the same time. For a few moments there it became very surreal. Driving this rental car down the freeway late at night with Sonny Rollins sitting in the back seat, this golden voice talking to me like a old buddy.

We talked about a bunch of different things and I don't think it would be right for me to relate them here. One thing he did say was that he played the horn every day. He said, "I practice every day".

I believe that I am included in a reception after the Concert tonight. At any rate, my wife and I are going to the concert. It is in a beatiful concert hall and the sound is usually very good. We saw Gary Burton and Chick Corea ther in the spring. I had to make sure that Mr. Rollins got checked into his suite and was squared away. As we waited in the Lobby for the band and luggage to get sorted out, he ask me if I was going to the concert. I said that I wouldn't miss it. He said that he wanted to make sure I was going and if not he would arrange a ticket for me. A gunuinely classy man.

Got to get going.

How was the Carnegie Hall Concert brianincairo??
 

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Got back from a trip to the USA and find that his London Jazz Festival concert is sold out. Rats.
 

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Thanks for sharing that story, tenorcat!
 

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tenorcat said:
I'll try and make this short. A friend of a friend ask me if I wanted to help volenteer for the PDXJAZZ festival commitee that has put the Portland gig together. So, I picked Sonny up at the airport in a nice rented sedan and my new friends drove a 15 passenger van and SUV to transport the band and all their gear to the hotel downtown.

Wow! Where did this come from? I must be doing something right. Things have not been going really well in my life for an uncomfortably long time, but a couple weeks ago somebody that I don't even know gave me two box sets of early Miles and Young Miles. It was out of the blue just like this Sonny thing.

It was such a thrill to meet him. He is a very warm and personable guy. I also noticed that he was very guarded when he encountered some fan that had been waiting all day in front of the hotel with a big stack of records to get signed. He didn't want to do it, but he was very gracious and did sign about six album jackets for the guy. I wouldn't have, and if Sonny would have balked at all, I would have told the cat to buzz off and ushered Sonny into the Lobby.

I have met some famous people like Mario Andretti, that have had to deal with gushing fans most of their lives. I mean, what do you say? I tried not to say too much and let him do the talking. When he found out that I have been into his music for thirty years and played tenor, I felt him let that guard down and he easily engaged me in questions about how much things had changed since he was last here and the weather.

I ask him how the Carnnegie hall concert went. He was very self efacing. He said, "I'm the wrong guy to ask. It was allright". At one point I was trying to navigate onto the right freeway and didn't say anything so that I didn't blow the exit. Sonny started telling me about the gig and the pressure he felt because his group produced the show. I was listening as hard as I could and drive at the same time. For a few moments there it became very surreal. Driving this rental car down the freeway late at night with Sonny Rollins sitting in the back seat, this golden voice talking to me like a old buddy.

We talked about a bunch of different things and I don't think it would be right for me to relate them here. One thing he did say was that he played the horn every day. He said, "I practice every day".

I believe that I am included in a reception after the Concert tonight. At any rate, my wife and I are going to the concert. It is in a beatiful concert hall and the sound is usually very good. We saw Gary Burton and Chick Corea ther in the spring. I had to make sure that Mr. Rollins got checked into his suite and was squared away. As we waited in the Lobby for the band and luggage to get sorted out, he ask me if I was going to the concert. I said that I wouldn't miss it. He said that he wanted to make sure I was going and if not he would arrange a ticket for me. A gunuinely classy man.

Got to get going.

How was the Carnegie Hall Concert brianincairo??
Great story tenorcat! Sonny is one of my heroes........
 

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That's a great story tenorcat.

A friend of mine that lives in Georgia went to a Sonny concert one time with a lady that was terminally ill. My friend told an usher about how the lady would love to meet Sonny and the usher apparently told Sonny and they were invited backstage that evening. Sonny told the lady he would pray for her. A real genuine concern he had. My friend had taken some lessons from Jerry Bergonzi and he mentioned it to Sonny who said yeah , Jerry the cat that was with Brubeck.

He went on to talk about how bad reeds are as well. They hung with him after the show for a while and my friend got an autographed picture .And he made the woman's night to say the least.

Sonny is a real first class human being.I'd love to meet the man myself.
 

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Improv Master...

Friday nights concert was fun. The house was packed and the party commenced. Clifton Anderson the bone player that shares the front line with Sonny has become a formidable player since the last time I saw them. Great tone, range, ideas and his parts playing spot on. I generally don't like trombone, but this set up is very cool. Bobby Broom got off a couple of good guitar solos and the drummer Willie Smith played a great solo. Except for solos, he and Bob Cranshaw were virtually invisible, just laying down a lush carpet of time and groove.

I could write more that you want to read about Sonny's playing. Let's just say that he is the Saxophone Colossus. There may be other heavy duty players in this big world, but Sonny has managed to keep his voice and remain relevant. He just is who he is, and that is what you hear.

Like the other night, I drove Sonny back to the airport Saturday in a sedan and my friend shuttled the band and gear in a passenger van. When I was first introduced to Sonny as his driver, I ask," Can I call you Sonny... I feel like I already know you so well?" He said, "My father is Mr. Rollins... I'm Sonny". So I felt like I could call him Sonny with no lack of respect.

As we took off from the hotel back to the airport, Sonny ask how I was doing and I said that I was doing great, still thinking about the concert. I told him that I thought the show was a big success. I said that you could tell by how animated the crowd was when filing out of the auditorium. You could hear musicians saying stuff like, did you hear it when they traded fours on this tune or did you hear the stuff he was playing on this tune? Everybody was smiling and excited. When we were walking outside, you could hear people singing or whistling little licks or one of the tunes.

He laughed and said, "Man, that's what it's all about"! I said, that when I woke up this morning, I had a calypso hook from a tune that they played stuck in my head. I had to pick up the horn and work it out for about an hour.

We had a great talk. It shifted from dealing with the media to the fact that was wearing a coat because he knew it could get a little chilly in Monterey in the evenings. I told him that it was my wife's birthday and we were going to the Coast to a modest little beach house that we have been going to for many years. I took my horn down on the beach and played for hours last year. The weather is so nice that I'm looking forward to doing that again. Sonny lit up and said that he loved to play outside. He told me about a placed where he hung out in the '50s in Malibu. He said that he really dug playing by the ocean. He lamented that one could not do that in that place today. I didn't really understand and then we were at the airport.

I helped him out of the back seat of the car by taking his heavy black valise. There was no way in the world that he was going to let that horn case out of his hand. I noticed that each time he was waiting for arrangements to be taken care of for the entourage, he would never put the horn or valise down, rather he stood and held these heavy items. Probably couldn't get my horn case out of my hand either.

I can't say enough what a extraordinary person Sonny is. He has a charisma that is undeniable. As we stood on the sidewalk in front of the Airport waiting for things to get sorted out, I wished him a good trip and hoped he would have fun playing in Monterey. He thanked me and told me to have great trip too. There was a minor hang-up and we just stood there for a while talking about some fairly intense things about the irony of life and what we all have to do to deal with it. Then all was good to go and I was out on the freeway with a big smile on my face.

Thanks Sonny I needed that!

Anybody here go to the Monterey Jazz Festival??
 

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Hey thanks a lot for sharing that, man. Nice to get that close to Sonny even if it's only for a moment on an internet chat page. Thanks!
 

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I was at the concert in portland too, Sonny was amazing that had to be one of the best concerts i've ever seen. They had a sound issue during the first 3 songs the mics weren't turned up enough, so you could barely hear sonny with all the people clapping. After they got the sound right and you could hear everything sonny was doing it was mind blowing. He truely is the saxophone colussous.
 
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