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Sonny Rollins (Photo credit John Abbott)

Sonny Rollins

(Saxophonist, composer; born September 7, 1930, in Harlem, NY) A colossus by any standard and a powerful presence in jazz, Sonny Rollins is a master of improvisation in an art form that is drenched in spontaneity. Yet his roots are as deep as they are deeply American, and he both celebrates tradition and makes jazz history whenever he plays his sax. He has shared the stage with such geniuses as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Dizzy Gillespie."They're not here now, so I feel like I'm sort of representing all of them, all of the guys," Rollins said recently. "Remember, I'm one of the last guys left, as I'm constantly being told, so I feel a holy obligation sometimes to evoke these people.