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Sonny Rollins Remembers Pete La Roca Sims

April 7, 1938-Nov. 20, 2012

Pete LaRoca Sims

It was Max Roach who recommended I hire Pete La Roca Sims, and that says it all—it’s a pretty high recommendation. We worked together only for a brief period, about two years, and traveled to Europe together during that time. And we had a good time, great chemistry on the bandstand.

Pete was an expert drummer. He was one of those people who you don’t have to tell what to do. This is very important. You find a lot of musicians who are always asking the leader, “What about this? What should I do here? How should I hit that?” And I remember Miles, for one, having to just come out and say to musicians, “Don’t ask me questions. You should already know what to do when you’re playing with me.” The person who’s asking you how to do everything, that person is not ready.

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