Monday, December 12, 2016

Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (1986 Full Movie)

1986 documentary directed by Robert Mugge

Robert Mugge’s 1986 film Saxophone Colossus was widely hailed upon its release as essential viewing for fans of jazz. This documentary is capturing Rollins quintet during an outdoors concert filmed at the Opus 40 quarry garden in upstate New York. The quintet concert footage is effectively juxtaposed with an ambitious, large-scale production: the world premiere of Rollins’ “Concerto For Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra,” performed in Tokyo by Rollins and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. While it’s not as memorable as the small combo performances of “G-Man” and “Don’t Stop The Carnival,” the orchestral segment sheds light on Rollins’ diverse interests in composing and collaborating. Interspersed are vintage concert footage and chats with critics Gary Giddins, Ira Gitler and Francis Davis, who dutifully (and glowingly) opine, each providing insights and context, as does Rollins’ late wife and manager, Lucille.

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