Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2
Written by Edward F. Nesta   

sonny rollins - Live in London Volume 2Traveling back in time may only be a dream, but with Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2 you come as close as possible to experiencing the legendary performer during a critical creative juncture in his life (1965).   


sonny rollins - Live in London Volume 2 

Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2       

Live In London Volume 2: Introduction by Ronnie Scott, Nutty (Monk), A Foggy Day (Gershwin & Gershwin), Flamingo (Grouya / Anderson), Autumn Nocturne (Myrow / Gannon), Night and Day (Porter), Ronnie's thanks and acknowledgements

Personnel: Sonny Rollins: tenor saxophone; Stan Tracey: piano; Rick Laird: bass; Ronnie Stephenson: drums

Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2 was released on the Harkit Entertainment Ltd.  label and was recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Club in 1965. The preservation of vintage music, and especially a classic live performance from a legend like Sonny Rollins, is a treasure beyond words, and is magic for the ears. Harkit Entertainment Ltd. has procured the license to many great vintage recordings, and using technological advances, they have attempted to restore the experience of the event. Though there are limitations to working with 40-year-old recordings, with this release they have truly captured the elements of the live sessions as they were performed at the legendary Ronnie Scott's Club. I have had the opportunity to frequent Ronnie Scott's Club numerous times so I could image the crowd, the atmosphere, and the performance as I listened to Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2. Ronnie Scott's Club is a unique venue where the acoustics and the seating are excellent to experience an evening of jazz. 

Sonny Rollins was the ripe old age of 34 when he recorded the sessions on Live In London Volumes 1, 2 and 3, all of which are available on the Harkit Entertainment Ltd. label. At this time in his life he had just come out of a self-imposed retirement, was struggling with his record company, and like his music, he was known to improvise at random with his day-to-day life; he was a talented and controversial performer who thrived on a live audience. Unbeknownst to Sonny Rollins, his performances were being recorded; this may have been a saving grace as the recordings capture Sonny dealing with a tumultuous time in his life while feeding off the audience over the 30 day engagement at Ronnie Scott's Club in January 1965. Had he known he was being recorded, you could rest assured that he would not have been as free in format as he was by sometimes going off microphone, venturing out into not only the audience but outside the club.

What is Live In London Volume 2? It is a compilation of Sonny expanding upon his knowledge of music, blending various melodies at random, putting some musical pressure on his support band to follow his lead, and keeping the audience on their toes anticipating and guessing on some of the arrangements. The arrangements are not your standard studio versions of 3-5 minutes in length, these are expressions of musical freedom spanning from 10 to 20 minutes in length, allowing the band to stretch their musical legs, as well as highlight the genuis of Sonny Rollin's improvisational style. The track Nutty, by Thelonious Monk, who Sonny played with before he was 20 years old, shows off his fascination of playing Monk's music on his tenor saxophone. For anyone, including this writer, to try to understand what the impetus was behind the songs selected, the various melodies mixed within the songs, or Sonny's expressionism translated through the tenor saxophone, would only be a writing of fiction. Therefore, why try to create words about the individual tracks, just let the music speak for itself and you can create your own stories. Sonny Rollins was a legend by his mid 30's and he just keeps expanding his creativity through live performances today. I thank Harkit Entertainment Ltd. and technological advances for preserving his sound for eternity.    

Websites where you can procure Sonny Rollins - Live In London Volume 2 are Harkit Entertainment Ltd., Guardian Unlimited, Artist Direct, and CD Universe.

© May 2007. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.