This Is What I Do

This Is What I Do

by Sonny Rollins
     
 

Sonny Rollins is now 70, and the music on This Is What I Do demonstrates unequivocally that we can continue to refer to him as the "saxophone colossus," his unofficial sobriquet since his mid-20s. Joined by his working quintet (Clifton Anderson, trombone; Stephen Scott, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Perry Wilson, drums, with Jack DeJohnette filling his chair on…  See more details below

Overview

Sonny Rollins is now 70, and the music on This Is What I Do demonstrates unequivocally that we can continue to refer to him as the "saxophone colossus," his unofficial sobriquet since his mid-20s. Joined by his working quintet (Clifton Anderson, trombone; Stephen Scott, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Perry Wilson, drums, with Jack DeJohnette filling his chair on four of the six performances,) Rollins places his unmistakable tenor saxophone sound in the forefront throughout; he's in prime form, soloing with unmatchable invention, vigor, and nuance. He offers three intriguing originals of recent vintage. "Salvador" is a neo-samba with a tricky rhythmic line that Rollins slaloms through with the greatest of ease. "Did You See Harold Vick?" is a soulful tribute to a late, esteemed tenor colleague, while the multi-thematic "Charles M" evokes the spirit of the immortal bassist-composer Charles Mingus, Rollins's close friend. With huge, gentle tones he caresses the songbook standard, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and, as is his wont, draws on two now-forgotten 1937 Hollywood films for a pair of off-the-beaten-path romantic chestnuts (Dorothy Lamour introduced "The Moon of Manakoora" in The Hurricane; while Bing Crosby sang "Sweet Leilani" in Waikiki Wedding) that frame to perfection his penchant for thematic improvising of the highest order. On This Is What I Do Sonny Rollins plays with a purity of intent that makes us think of Crosby's main influence, Louis Armstrong, also a Rollins idol; he's the avatar of contemporary improvisation and shows why on this extremely satisfying recording.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
When it comes to picking material, today's young hard boppers (both instrumentalists and singers) could learn a lot from Sonny Rollins -- a tenor titan who has always had a way of surprising us with interesting, unexpected choices. Over the years, he hasn't made the mistake of limiting himself to overdone Gershwin and Cole Porter favorites; Rollins doesn't exclude well-known standards by any means, but he has also made a point of interpreting a lot of material that other hard boppers have ignored (and that has included everything from forgotten show tunes to Stevie Wonder gems). True to form, the saxman continues to make interesting choices on This Is What I Do, which was recorded in 2000 and finds a 69-year-old Rollins joined by Clifford Anderson on trombone, Stephen Scott on acoustic piano, Jack DeJohnette or Perry Wilson on drums, and long-time companion Bob Cranshaw on electric bass. The CD's only real standard is the ballad "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" -- the other selections range from Rollins originals (which include the funky, playful "Did You See Harold Vick?" and the calypso-minded "Salvador") to forgotten songs from 1937 movies. "Sweet Leilani" (which the seminal Bing Crosby defined) is from the film Waikiki Wedding, while "The Moon of Manakoora" is from The Hurricane (which starred Dorothy Lamour). Neither are tunes that have been done to death by hard boppers, and Rollins has no problem showing us that they can be relevant to jazz. This Is What I Do falls short of essential, but it offers some nice surprises and is a rewarding addition to Rollins' huge catalog.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2000
Label:
Milestone
UPC:
0025218931021
catalogNumber:
9310
Rank:
240011

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