Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins, by Bob Blumenthal and John Abbott, Abrams RRP£22.50, 160 pages
These days the great American saxophonist Sonny Rollins will take only those jobs “that put myself, and jazz, in high esteem”. It’s a statement that reflects the distance the New York-born musician has travelled from the circumstances in which he found himself when he recorded the now legendary album Saxophone Colossus in 1956.
Bob Blumenthal and John Abbott’s text-and-photograph collaboration takes that triumphant early album in order to track Rollins’s tumultuous journey from youthful miscreant to venerated statesman – via punishing routines, titanic gigs, heroin addiction and self-imposed exile from performance.
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