Sonny Rollins, Sonny, Please

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 09.11.12 in Reviews

Sonny, Please

Sonny Rollins

Preferring the inspiration of a live audience, Sonny Rollins in twilight has learned to ignore the studio. This last non-concert recording — and the first self-release under his own Doxy label — happened because he was feeling so good about the band coming off an extended tour of Japan that he wanted to document it. That said, his voice is thankfully dominant throughout — trombonist Clifford Anderson concentrates on background coloring and guitarist Bobby Broom is relatively underutilized. The entire band sounds good on “Nishi,” a hard-bop original that would have fit easily into the Jazz Messengers repertoire, and other highlights include “Park Palace Parade,” a relatively laid-back calypso replete with buzzes and whistles, and “Serenade,” an obscure radio theme from Sonny’s youth that he resurrects, deconstructs and reassembles with midtempo munificence, still unearthing buried treasure — flax into gold — from the most arcane source material.