As I noted on Facebook a bit earlier, I can't let another minute of today go by without wishing a happy 80th birthday to Sonny Rollins. Not only is he one of the few remaining national treasures of his generation of jazz, but he's still tearing it up on the tenor and has a rather active touring schedule for a guy his age.
I've had the privilege of seeing Sonny three times: At the late, lamented Caravan of Dreams while in college; in New Orleans at the House of Blues in '99; and at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival in '03. That most recent time was highlighted by the 30-chorus blues solo that he took on one tune--yep, he played for 15 solid minutes and it never got old. That was at the age of 72, and from everything I hear, he hasn't lost a step. I hope I get a chance to see him at least one more time.
Happy birthday, Sonny, and thanks for all you've done for our music.