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Sonny Rollins Addresses the “Scurrilous” New Yorker Article

“They’re saying some very insulting, derogatory things about jazz”

Sonny Rollins, in a webcast, addresses an article about him in The New Yorker, August 2014

In a live webcast from his home in Woodstock, N.Y., jazz saxophone icon Sonny Rollins last night responded to an article that appeared Aug. 1 on the website of The New Yorker. The article, titled “Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words,” and attributed to Django Gold (described as “a senior writer for The Onion“), consisted entirely of fabricated quotes presumed to have stemmed from Rollins’ own mouth. The article, which did not at first include any disclaimer indicating that the quotes were in fact not Rollins’, raised hackles among many in the jazz world due to what was perceived as a derogatory attitude toward jazz and Rollins himself. Many initially believed the quotes to be real. Other jazz aficionados, posting on blogs and social media sites, enjoyed it and said that they understood immediately that it was intended as satire and that the quotes were the work of Gold.

(A note stating, “This article, which is part of our Shouts & Murmurs humor blog, is a work of satire,” was added to the original by The New Yorker after the controversy erupted.)

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