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Road Shows, Vol. 3 (Live)

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iTunes Review

Sonny Rollins has been famously critical of his playing in the studio. He has finally just sidestepped the process altogether with the Road Shows series, which collects strong versions of songs from various live concerts around the world. While the first one spanned 27 years and the second one focused on 2010 and included material from his 80th-birthday concert, this one finds the saxophone colossus circa 2001-2012 with his sextet of rotating but regular players. Rollins is famous for his mastery of thematic improvisation, which often incorporates melodies from different songs, and fans get an unadulterated dose of this on the eight-and-half-minute “Solo Sonny.” But it’s the lengthy “Why Was I Born” where the saxophonist is at his zenith, gleefully trading twos with drummer Steve Jordan in a duel that could have gone on forever. Along with a mix of standards and originals, Rollins always seems to include a calypso in his shows; things close out with a brief but rewarding take on the classic “Don’t Stop the Carnival.” A recording of Rollins happy and in full flight, this is the next best thing to being there.

Customer Reviews


One of Sonny's great achievements!!!! A wonder filled with genius!!!!

Too good for words. Just listen and smile

No one compares to Sonny. This is the best of the best!


Born: September 7, 1930 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Sonny Rollins will go down in history as not only the single most enduring tenor saxophonist of the bebop and hard bop era, but also as one of the greatest contemporary jazz saxophonists of them all. His fluid and harmonically innovative ideas, effortless manner, and easily identifiable and accessible sound have influenced generations of performers, but have also fueled the notion that mainstream jazz music can be widely enjoyed, recognized, and proliferated. Born Theodore Walter Rollins in New York...
Full Bio