Interview: Sonny Rollins (Part 2) - JazzWax

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October 07, 2009


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Doug Zielke

What a joy to see Sonny's thoughts laid out for a delightful read....but *only* two parts?
How about a few more installments from this jazz legend!

Gavin Walker

Thanks for that...I too, grew up with Westerns and share the same felings for their moral concept as Sonny. Ken Maynard, Hopalong Cassidy etc. were my favorites and even though I'm a decade younger than Sonny his thoughts and my feelings coincide. I do a Jazz program on every Monday evening at 9pm(Pacific Time) and just featured 'Way Out West'....I hadn't listened to it in years(although I grew up with the record and it was an influence as I'm a saxophone player) the album is a very important milestone in Sonny's legacy. Thank you and the incredible Mr. Rollins.

Howard Mandel

Im curious about Sonny's tune "Strode Rode." The title apparently refers to Woody Strode, the African-American football player and decathelete who appeared in several John Ford movies, though not to my knowledge as a powerful, justice-bringing protagonist (as I recall his biggest role was as a soldier victimized by his superiors because of his race). Sonny says he didn't particularly register the racial assumptions of Westerns -- that is was a white world, villifying Indians) but he must have had some interest in Strode. Did his name come up in your interview? Thanks for any comment, Marc -- Howard


In making the clip above, I chose the song 'High Noon' as the introduction. But I didn't know Mr.Rollins liked Westerns so much. I'm glad to know he recommends 'High Noon.'

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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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