Jazz at the Bechtler
The Ziad Jazz Quartet pays tribute to American jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins at the August 3 Jazz at the Bechtler concert. Songs will include Pent Up House, St. Thomas, Oleo, Doxy, Airegin and Tenor Madness.
Rollins, who grew up in Harlem, was mentored by Thelonious Monk; recorded with Art Blakey and the Modern Jazz Quartet; played a key role in Miles Davis's "Rebirth of Cool" period; and composed indelible jazz standards.
He is considered the single most enduring tenor saxophonist of the bebop and hard bop era, influencing generations of musicians and bringing new sounds to the jazz scene. In Valse Hot, Rollins introduced the practice (now common) of playing bop in 3/4 meter and in one of his most recognizable instrumentals, St. Thomas, he incorporated calypso patterns.
In 1959 Rollins began the first in a number of a self-imposed exiles. During this hiatus, he took to practicing on New York's Williamsburg Bridge, sometimes for up to 15 hours a day. Upon his return to the jazz scene in 1962, Rollins titled his comeback album The Bridge.
In 2010 Rollins was awarded the National Medal and last year on his 81st birthday was recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor. On the lighter side, Rollins provided the inspiration for the saxophone-playing character Bleeding Gums Murphy in The Simpsons.
Jazz at the Bechtler is performed from 6 to 8 p.m. in the museum lobby. Tickets are free for members and $12 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 704.353.9200 or at the visitor services desk. A cash bar is provided during the concert.
Charlotte Magazine selected the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art as "Best Jazz Club" in its 2012 Best of the Best issue.