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May 12, 2014 / robinswood

Sonny Rollins on NPR

sonny_rollins

Just listened to a very fine, brief interview with the legendary Sonny Rollins, and thought I’d share the link. Now 83 years old, Rollins still plays with the power of  a man half his age… yet due to the depths of his experience, he’s got this incredible feel that most players in their forties would love to have. As was certainly true of John Coltrane, Rollins’ 1960s religious and spiritual wanderings carried him into some fairly esoteric corners – I’m not sure I’ve ever read of anyone else who said they’d been “into Rosicrucianism” – though he now appears to be more conventionally settled into a meditative yoga practice.

Two things in the interview really stood out for me:

When I play, what I try to do is to reach my subconscious level. I don’t want to overtly think about anything, because you can’t think and play at the same time — believe me, I’ve tried it. It goes by too fast.

Jazz improvisation is supposed to be the highest form of communication, and getting that to the people is our job as musicians. I’m not supposed to be playing, the music is supposed to be playing me. I’m just supposed to be standing there with the horn, moving my fingers. The music is supposed to be coming through me; that’s when it’s really happening.

You can read and listen to the entire interview by clicking here. Watch this video and you might well find yourself primed for more!

 

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