For Christmas two years ago my wife got me a ticket to see Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill. Then last year she got us two tickets to see/hear Sonny Rollins tonight at The Seattle Paramount. There's something about these 80 year olds. Mr. Rollins hobbled on stage with a bent back, a big horn, and a decided limp. And then the music started, and the back straightened and the limp became a shimmy and the horn-- well it was Sonny Rollins' horn! I'd seen him once before, 30 or more years ago in the same building, "backed" by Ron Carter and McCoy Tyner. That was as powerful a show as I've ever seen or heard. But tonight's was special-- way more intimate, almost acoustic, softer, but still full of energy. At one point he spoke to the crowd, saying "Let's keep music alive. It's the only thing in this world that still matters." (He said "Let's not think about the oil spill tonight.") And when the night ended, it ended with the blues, with Rollins singing two verses. (Dang, how I wish my ears worked better! I wanted to hear the lyrics.) He wore a bright white jacket and black pants, and let his hair fly loose in a big shaggy afro. And, of course, the shades. And the parade continues. In another week we'll go see Pinetop Perkins.
I guess I know I won't be doing anything like they do when I'm 80, but I do hope I do something that matters.
Anyway, here's a LINK to his website (where I took the picture. Sorry!)