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November/December 2022

The years 1960 and 1961 were a crucial transition period for Sonny Rollins; you could call them his bridge years (as in Williamsburg Bridge). In an excerpt from his definitive new Rollins biography, Aidan Levy digs deep into the saxophonist’s psyche as he prepared to return to jazz.

Sonny Rollins on the Williamsburg Bridge, October 7, 196
Sonny Rollins on the Williamsburg Bridge, October 7, 1961 (photo: Atsuhiko Kawabata/ courtesy of Hanako Kawabata)

A gifted producer and A&R man, George Butler coaxed Miles Davis back into the spotlight, played a key role in the ascent of Wynton Marsalis, and spurred on the young lions of the 1980s and ’90s. Then he disappeared from the business. What happened? John Murph finds out.

He’s played jazz, he’s played rock, and he’d be ecstatic if those two genre signifiers were never allowed to be used in polite conversation again. In light of a recent multidisc career retrospective, the ever-engaging Bruford talks to Jim Farber about investigating boundaries.

We still know Denardo best as Ornette’s son and the guardian of his legacy—and he’s fine with that. But he’s got bigger plans: to expand his father’s harmolodic work and take it global. A.D. Amorosi catches up with the drummer who considers himself a “different kind of point guard.”

The head honcho of Bad Hombre is a virtuoso drummer and visionary composer who’s constantly expanding the possibilities of his instrument. He’s also, as Ted Panken discovered recently, a real sweetheart.


JT Notes
Opening Chorus: The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, stadium-style; Jakob Bro and Joe Lovano pay tribute to Paul Motian; Daniela Soledade introduces herself; memories of Frank Sinatra’s Watertown; and farewells to Pharoah Sanders, Donald Smith, Eric Alan Wannenburg, Mike Lang, Butch Thompson, Rolf Kühn, Ramsey Lewis, Fredy Studer, Creed Taylor, Capriel Dedeian, Joey DeFrancesco, Ted Butterman, Frank Katz, Eric Jackson, jaimie branch, Anton Fier, Pucho Brown, Sue Mingus, and Ronnie Cuber
The Scene: Philadelphia’s Solar Myth
Chronology: Sonny Greer and Sam Woodyard
Overdue Ovation: Han Bennink

Before & After: Louis Hayes
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on the best stereo system for jazz
Chops: What bassists listen for in drummers
Gearhead: Roland’s 50th anniversary turns conceptual
Artist’s Choice: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Musical Arts program

Reviews: Charles Lloyd’s trio of trios; Terri Lyne Carrington’s new standards; Samara Joy; Makaya McCraven; Dafnis Prieto and Luciana Souza; Angelica Sanchez; archival releases from Ahmad Jamal, Elvin Jones, and Mal Waldron; and many more

Cover image by Fernando Aceves