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Such a good question.
I’m often left cold by the seemingly limitless technical mastery on show in the recent generations of players. They seem to know the language of jazz without having absorbed some of the spirit of adventurousness and innovation that went before. It’s all so clean. No rough edges that reveal someone on the edge of their established processes.
I’m not just glorifying the “good ol days” but there is nobody like Sonny and maybe there never will be. That rhythmic sense was so powerful.
Chris Potter is the last of them for me but I’d be sooooo happy to be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the spirit of adventurousness and innovation
I'm betting that somewhere there are a few undiscovered players, burried in the infinite number of YouTube channels of sax on the beach with 300 views from the few who've seen or heard them play.
 

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Nice player but not within shouting distance of SRs rhythmic approach. This guy was using a range of paint brushes where (for me) Sonny used a hammer and chisel…and sometimes an axe and buzzsaw.
 

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Chris Potter is likely one of the most recent players who has a lot of Rollins in his playing. Not 100% or anything but, I can definitely hear it. Bob Reynolds also has a bit. Not as much as Potter but... then again, I think they took a lot of the artists they enjoyed and put them together to get their style and sound. The more players you have the more amalgamated the sound of the most modern players will become.
 

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Melissa Aldana sounds a lot like Sonny, and earlier in her career she played a lot like him as well. She seems to have grown to have her own voice now though.
 

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I don't hear too many tenorists emulating Sonny either rhythmically or tonally. If I'm wrong I'm glad to hear it. I dig Melissa Aldana but she sounds kind of "clean" to me compared to Rollins. The last tenorist I'm aware of who really based his concept on Rollins would be Steve Grossman, later in his career.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I can't see the Gideon Tazelaar here (maybe with a vpn?) Ok, it's just the video has to be listened to on YouTube, not the player here. That intro was exactly the concept I'm thinking about. This guy is interesting! Also no keyboard or guitar, that makes a difference.
The two others do have a very Sonny sound, which has nothing to do with the rhythm, but they're both good, too. I guess, what I would be looking for would be outside of the standards kind of thing Sonny recorded. There must be a way to play a standard arranged so it doesn't sound like bebop or post bop? I know it's been done, just as Miles played pop songs like Time After Time in his own way.

In my own view, someone like Kenny Garrett does with melody and harmony what Sonny did with rhythm. I suppose words don't really make it easy, I'll know it when I hear it. I haven't listened to much Chris Potter, enough to know he's a brilliant player, but not much more.
 

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I can't see the Gideon Tazelaar here (maybe with a vpn?) Ok, it's just the video has to be listened to on YouTube, not the player here. That intro was exactly the concept I'm thinking about. This guy is interesting! Also no keyboard or guitar, that makes a difference.
The two others do have a very Sonny sound, which has nothing to do with the rhythm, but they're both good, too. I guess, what I would be looking for would be outside of the standards kind of thing Sonny recorded. There must be a way to play a standard arranged so it doesn't sound like bebop or post bop? I know it's been done, just as Miles played pop songs like Time After Time in his own way.

In my own view, someone like Kenny Garrett does with melody and harmony what Sonny did with rhythm. I suppose words don't really make it easy, I'll know it when I hear it. I haven't listened to much Chris Potter, enough to know he's a brilliant player, but not much more.
If you can, listen to CP on the Dave Douglas album The Infinite. On the up tempo pieces CPs rhythmic concept is unbelievable to hear. Sophisticated and complex but always serving the music. And he takes massive risks. Only a sax player will know what that means. But you'll hear it immediately.
 

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Tivon Pennicott.
Perfect. A friend sent me this a few weeks ago and my reply was, "He's certainly studied his Sonny Rollins." It's possible to incorporate elements of Sonny's sound and style, but not his overall unique improvisational genius. And then there's the Afro-Caribbean influence in his playing, which would be hard to recreate authentically.
 

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As already stated: Tivon is the correct answer to this question. There are certain tunes/settings where I hear a lot of Sonny in CLB's playing, too.
 
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