Tuesday September 05, 2017

'It's a beautiful trip': living legend Sonny Rollins reflects on his jazz legacy

Jazz saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, whose career has spanned over 60 years.

Jazz saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, whose career has spanned over 60 years. ((Susan Ragan/Associated Press) )

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It's not often that you can justify the use of the term living legend. But when it comes to jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, the title fits.

In a career of over seven decades, with more than 60 albums under his belt, Rollins has pushed the boundaries of the genre to a wealth of new directions. Newk, as Sonny is affectionately known, has become a giant of the scene.

Due to health reasons, Rollins can no longer play his sax, but that hasn't stopped his enthusiasm and passion for music. Last year, he released his album of live performances Road Shows Volume 4, and this year, he has donated his seven-decade archive to the Schomburg Center in his birthplace, Harlem.

Tom Power recently spoke to Rollins from his home in Woodstock, N.Y., to find out about his life, his legacy and what it means to him now that he can no longer play.

— Produced by Ben Edwards