February 15, 2007 — “The Sonny Rollins Podcast,” a monthly video series focusing on Sonny Rollins, the man and his music, is now available for online viewing, download, and subscription at www.sonnyrollins.com. The series, conceived and produced by Bret Primack, tells Sonny’s story through interviews with band members, friends, fans, family, and Sonny himself, and utilizes performances current and classic as well as backstage footage.
“These Podcasts are essentially an ongoing documentary film that will unfold over the next year, chapter by chapter,” reports Primack. “With the advent of web video, which offers free global distribution, we are introducing Sonny Rollins, the most important musician in jazz, to new audiences all over the planet by using state-of-the-art technology.”
Each episode of the Sonny Rollins Podcast can be viewed on Sonny’s site, or on YouTube. The Podcasts are also available for subscription and download on the site, and on iTunes. A new episode will be available on the 23rd of each month, and on January 23, 2008, all 12 episodes will be released on DVD and sold on Sonny’s site.
“To maximize viewership,” Primack explains, “the Podcast is syndicated on the web via the free Google embedded video player. The html code is available on Sonny’s site, so instead of just writing about the Podcasts, bloggers and web sites can post the actual Podcasts on their sites. Rollins fans are also encouraged to post the Podcasts on their individual web sites.”
The Sonny Rollins Podcast Schedule
Episode 1: On the Road (Jan. 23)
Behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage documents two late-2006 Arizona concerts with the Sonny Rollins Group. Also included: performance excerpts.
Episode 2: Radio and the Movies (Feb. 23)
Sonny discusses the influence of old-time radio and classic movies on his music, and performs musical examples from his latest Doxy CD, Sonny, Please.
Episode 3: Teenage Fans Meet Their Idol (Mar. 23)
Sonny’s global audiences includes listeners of all ages, notably four teenage saxophonists who caught up with Sonny one night after a performance in Arizona.
Episode 4: Miles, Monk, and Trane (Apr. 23)
Sonny remembers three friends who were also giants of jazz -- Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. Rare archival video displays their musical prowess.
Episode 5: Global Warming (May 23)
Sonny discusses his commitment to public awareness of global warming. Also included is a 2006 performance of his composition “Global Warming.”
Episode 6: The Band (June 23)
Interviews and performance excerpts with longtime Rollins bassist Bob Cranshaw, trombonist Clifton Anderson, guitarist Bobby Broom, and percussionist Kimati Dinizulu.
Episode 7: The Guys on the Hill (July 23)
Sonny remembers his childhood friends Jackie McLean, Lowell Lewis, Walter Bishop Jr., and Kenny Drew, all residents of Harlem’s Sugar Hill. Also included: rare video of McLean and Bishop.
Episode 8: The Islands (Aug. 23)
Sonny and his sister Gloria discuss the family’s roots in St. Thomas, while performance excerpts highlight Sonny’s calypso cavalcade.
Episode 9: Family Matters (Sept. 23)
A rare look at the Rollins family that includes interviews with Sonny, his sister Gloria, and nephew Clifton.
Episode 10: Lucille (Oct. 23)
Sonny and his friends Jimmy Heath and Paul Jeffrey remember Sonny’s late wife, Lucille Rollins.
Episode 11: Musical Cohorts Testify (Nov. 23)
Jimmy Heath, Larry Ridley, Ira Gitler, Bob Cranshaw, Joe Lovano, and Bobby Broom discuss the music of Sonny Rollins.
Episode 12: Playing the Tenor Saxophone (Dec. 23)
Sonny talks about his sixty-plus years playing the tenor saxophone, including why he first decided to play the tenor and how his approach to the instrument has changed throughout his career.