Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Road Shows, Vol. 2 adheres to the same basic principle, with Rollins putting his stamp of approval on live material that meets his exceptionally high standards, but differs when it comes to timeframe consistency. The performances on Road Shows, Vol. 1 spanned more than a quarter of a century, making it come off more like a sampler than a proper album, and providing fodder for those looking to find something about which to complain; a minor issue that is rectified on Vol. 2. The six tracks that make up this album were recorded within the span of one month, helping to unify its overall aural picture: four tracks were taken from Rollins' now-famous 80th birthday concert at New York's Beacon Theatre on September 10, 2010; the other two, from different shows in Japan the following month... Road Shows, Vol. 2 serves as a reminder of all that's possible when everything is in its right place for a master musician, playing in the moment. This is firm evidence that the Saxophone Colossus still towers above tenors everywhere." -All About Jazz
"Why do people keep talking about him? What is he up to now? The answer is found throughout the new live recording Road Shows, Vol. 2, out Sept. 13. These days especially, the appeal of Sonny Rollins lies in the sounds, but it's also in being drawn to the rumbling engine behind them. And in this collection of live performances, recorded in 2010, a little bit of that magnetism is bottled... See, Sonny Rollins needs to be experienced live to be believed. Sonny being Sonny, when he walks out from the wings — he's a bit hunched over now, so it's almost a waddle — he's immediately showered in warm applause, the anticipation overflowing and then relenting. For the briefest moment, there's something both regal and vulnerable about this imposingly built man, gruff-voiced and bowed by age. Then the music begins, and Rollins is immediately the commanding force, filling every row and aisle with sound. He physically manhandles his tenor sax, a seemingly inexhaustible warehouse of ideas at his disposal. Perhaps he'll stall for a second, hit an acrid note, pause — and then begin anew with a new possibility, a new variation, a new broad brush stroke. It's playful, it's intense, it's naive, it's infinitely wise. And a good approximation of that energy is heard here." -NPR
Down Beat (p.49) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his one feels like a documentary tribute one will want to revisit, particularly because it features the historic moment when Ornette Coleman shared the stage with Rollins for the first time..."
JazzTimes (p.51) - "[O]n every track, just when you think Rollins has arrived at his final crescendo, he kicks it up a level and keeps wailing."
Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Jim Hall, Russell Malone (guitar); Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone); Roy Hargrove (trumpet); Christian McBride (acoustic bass); Bob Cranshaw (electric bass); Kobie Watkins, Roy Haynes (drums); Sammy Figueroa (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Francis Davis.
Recording information: Beacon Theatre, New York, NY (09/10/2010); okyo International Forum Hall, Forum A, Tokyo, Japan (09/10/2010); Sapporo Shimin Hall, Sapporo, Japan (09/10/2010); Beacon Theatre, New York, NY (10/01/2010); okyo International Forum Hall, Forum A, Tokyo, Japan (10/01/2010); Sapporo Shimin Hall, Sapporo, Japan (10/01/2010); Beacon Theatre, New York, NY (10/07/2010); okyo International Forum Hall, Forum A, Tokyo, Japan (10/07/2010); Sapporo Shimin Hall, Sapporo, Japan (10/07/2010).
Photographer: John Abbott .
This new collection of live performances from the legendary tenor saxophonist was mostly culled from a concert at New York's Beacon Theatre on September 10, 2010, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, aside from two tracks from an October 2010 date in Sapporo, Japan. Personnel include Roy Hargrove, Jim Hall, Russell Malone, Bob Cranshaw, Sammy Figueroa, and most especially bassist Christian McBride and drummer Roy Haynes on "Sonnymoon for Two." The pianoless trio is joined after the first solo by none other than Ornette Coleman, in the first meeting on record of the two saxophone giants. The clash between Rollins and Coleman's trademark styles stretches for 22 minutes of confrontational jazz nirvana, and incontestably becomes the album's centerpiece. ~ Mariano Prunes
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