Sonny Rollins knows what's up. i saw him interviewed yesterday on the Austin City Limits soundstage in studio 6A. he is the glowing figure on the right.
Mr. Rollins is 78 years old and doesn't like being called a legend because he says he is still working toward a sound he hasn't achieved. in response to a question from Waterloo Records owner John Kunz, Mr. Rollins was quick to mention a guy he always thought was better than he was (Percy France), but shied away from mentioning who he himself had gotten the better of along the way.
when asked what he thought about women in jazz, he said he believed it was possible.
he doesn't use set lists and tries to at least have the first song of the night decided by the time he leaves his dressing room for the stage. he tours more since he lost his wife in 2004. his passion for music keeps him going. he doesn't listen to much recorded music, because he spends so much time creating it.
he has a mystical view of music. why would you need drugs when you could have the most incredible out-of-body experiences with music? he mentioned that when asked by a jazz student what advice he wishes he had gotten when he was younger. he also said that if you're in the music business for fame and riches, you will never be fulfilled. creation has to be an end in itself, something you would do even if the pay sucks. being focused on anything but the passionate pursuit of music will only put limits on your experience.
sonny rollins is wholly unscripted. constantly challenging himself to evolve. another one who calls it like he sees it and inspires other to do the same. we're all just trying to get through.