American jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins celebrates his 80th birthday today.
Born Theodore Walter Rollins in New York City, Sonny has become one of the most important and influential jazz musicians of the post-bebop era.
Rollins is recognized by many for the length and quality of his career, one not easily matched in the world of jazz. His melodic sensibilities, playing style and solos have also influenced several generations of musicians.
Sonny is still touring and recording, having outlived most of his contemporaries such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Max Roach, and Art Blakey, all performers with whom he recorded.
"Strode Rode" - from the album Saxophone Colossus:
Sonny Rollins — tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan — piano
Doug Watkins — bass
Max Roach — drums
Sonny Rollins was elected to the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1973.
Pssst, don't forget to click on the photos!