Jazz legend Sonny Rollins will celebrate his 80th birthday this fall, and Saxophone Colossus will be published to mark this occasion and honor his incredibly prolific career. This intimate appreciation combines the images of John Abbott, who as Rollins’s photographer of choice for the past 20 years has captured the saxophonist at home and at work, and the essays of Bob Blumenthal, a jazz critic who has chronicled Rollins and his art for nearly four decades.
Sonny Rollins has been at the center of jazz and its evolution virtually from his birth. Growing up in Harlem in the heyday of swing and coming of age as the first wave of modernists announced their discoveries, he quickly found himself sharing bandstands with his idols and making music of his own that continues to influence and inspire. Saxophone Colossus, named for the 1956 masterpiece of the same title, is Abbott and Blumenthal’s tribute to Rollins’s music and spirit.