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Sonny's new DVD: Live in Vienne
produced by French television and offers an up-close glimpse
at Rollins onstage—in high-definition video—as he unfurls a superb hour-long set before a euphoric crowd at the 2006 Jazz à Vienne Festival. The saxophonist, who famously spent two years
(1959-61) practicing on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge, above
the East River, finds that “playing outside is always great.
But Vienne, with its Roman amphitheater, is a particularly
photogenic place, a beautiful venue. The little town is on the
Rhône River. And it was warm that night—just perfect weather.”
The stars and the elements were aligned for a dazzling Rollins performance that June evening. Opening with a favorite standard, Irving Berlin's They Say It's Wonderful, Rollins also included another standard, I See Your Face Before Me; two ecstatic calypsos, Global Warming and Don't Stop the Carnival; and Sonny, Please, the title track of his 2006 Grammy-nominated debut CD for Doxy/Emarcy.
Playing with Sonny that night were guitarist Bobby Broom, bassist Bob Cranshaw, Victor Lewis on drums, percussionist Kimati Dinizulu, and trombonist Clifton Anderson, who also produced the DVD for release.
"I remember this as an enjoyable performance," says Broom. "The band was pretty on that evening. And what a perfect concert setting: with the history and mystery of the ancient Roman theater, the beauty of the twilight sky, and the muse of Sonny Rollins."Rollins, who's played at Vienne a half-dozen times in the last 15 years or so, returns there for a concert on July 8. For those who can't make the show, Live in Vienne is the next best thing.
They Say It’s Wonderful
Global Warming (Rollins)
Sonny, Please (Rollins)
I See Your Face Before Me
Don’t Stop the Carnival (Rollins)
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson, trombone; Bobby Broom, guitar; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Victor Lewis, drums; Kimati Dinizulu, percussion.
Recorded June 20, 2006, Vienne (France) Jazz Festival