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February 21, 2008


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"At the time, Sonny took a lot of heat from fellow musicians for hiring Jim Hall, a white guitarist perceived to be (albeit incorrectly) too mainstream for the avant-garde Rollins."
I've always been puzzled by references to Rollins as part of the "avant-garde." Subsequent to "The Bridge" he did veer briefly into that territory while working with Don Cherry; but in general his playing has always been highly melodic and harmonically grounded, even when working in a piano-less trio. Innovative and adventurous, yes, but so was Hall.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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