Rollins takes the stage wearing a long, white flowing robe; donning sunglasses; and holding his tenor saxophone. Behind him is trombonist Clifton Anderson, who received his first trombone from his uncle, Sonny Rollins, and has been playing with Sonny’s group for more than two decades. Distinguished guitarist Bobby Broom has been playing with Sonny since he was 17. Percussionist Kimati Dinizulu comes from an African immigrant family (his father was also a famed African drummer), and he has made many trips to Ghana. Stellar bassist Bob Cranshaw has performed with artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Coleman Hawkins to Thelonious Monk to McCoy Tyner. Drummer Victor Lewis, who played for many years with Stan Getz, rounds out the ensemble. The evening features delightful solos by the likes of Kimati Dinizulu, who solos sensually on his congas.
The ensemble launches into "Sonny, Please," the title track from Rollins’ new album which features a vibrant solo from Sonny. The new calypso "Nice Lady" follows; the tune’s beat brings a Caribbean steel band to mind. Noel Coward’s "Someday I'll Find You" is followed by "Stairway to the Stars." The evening concludes with"Global Warming" and members of the audience dance in the aisles. Sadly, no encore follows the stellar 80-minute set. Rollins latest recording,"Sonny, Please," is on Doxy Records, his own label. The CD and downloads are currently available on his website (www.sonnyrollinscom).