NEW YORK – Tenor sax legend Sonny Rollins was a triple winner Wednesday at the annual Jazz Awards, garnering musician of the year honors for the second straight year.
Rollins also repeated as the top tenor saxophonist. His latest CD, Road Shows, Vol. 2, consisting of live recordings from concerts in Japan and his September 2010 80th birthday concert in New York highlighted by a first-ever public performance with free jazz visionary and alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, was chosen the years best jazz recording.
I was born with some talent for which I am grateful, Rollins said in a statement read from the stage at the Blue Note jazz club by emcee Josh Jackson.
Saxophonist Joe Lovanos Us Five, featuring Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding on bass and James Weidman on piano, was chosen the best small ensemble for the third consecutive year.
The large ensemble honors went to the Mingus Big Band, dedicated to playing the compositions of the late bassist Charles Mingus.