Interview: Sonny Rollins (Part 1) - JazzWax

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October 06, 2009


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Michael Steinman

Thanks for letting us in to Sonny's inner life -- more relevant than a million words that have already been expended. And I have to add my own version of the Wild West uptown: the story I heard of Fats Waller and Willie "the Lion" Smith encountering each other by surprise on a Harlem street and pretending to be rival gunfighters, shouting "Draw!" but yanking out half-pints of gin from their pockets rather than revolvers from their holsters. Another version of HIGH NOON, perhaps!

Ed Leimbacher

Definitely ready for more of the Way Out Rollins, the young man who went West. Part 1 reminds me that a couple of years prior to his wonderful album, smooth r&b group the Olympics had a big hit called "Western Movies" (oh yes, my baby still loves 'em)--and of course the Fifties were prime years for the genre... which I wrote about recently, a post or two down at (Excuse the plug, Marc, but this coincidence is just too fine to ignore!)

John P. Cooper

I once had a video store that specialized in old films of the 30s and 40s and I was surprised when older black men began to come in to buy very vintage "B" westerns of that era. It never occurred to me that as kids, they were digging these same westerns as white kids back in the day. And serial Westerns, too.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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