This sensational video presents two films which are seemingly different, but with both of them having a common interest for jazz fans. They are different because while the first one offers the filming of a memorable concert, in contrast the second one permits us to contemplate some of the more human aspects of the life of one of the great legends of jazz. "Sonny Rollins: Live at Laren" is precisely that, the testimony to the recital that was given in 1973 at the Festival of Laren, the Netherlands, by the great tenor saxophonist, whose contribution to the consolidation of hard bop was decisive. Rollins appeared on the jazz scene when a lot of young musicians were beginning to look for derivations to the bebop that had been "created" by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Among those who aspired to revolutionize the routine which bop had become, Rollins was one the most radical. Possessing a rebellious and demanding character, his frequent withdrawals from the scene in order to rethink his music were both legendary and fruitful. He always came back from them with a much purer and more personal style, without ever forgetting the roots from which he extracted his strength and sensibility. This concert in which he is accompanied by a magnificent rhythm section, is like a synopsis of his career because it serves to display his habitual sense of musical irony. This concert in which he is accompanied by a magnificent rhythm section, is like a sy-lopsis of his career because it serves to splay his habitual sense of musical irony. This completely distinct from "Big Ben: Ben Webster in Europe", a film made by Johan van der Keuken in 1967 in Amsterdam, where the great tenor saxophonist lived his last years. We can see Webster rehearsing in his house with a Fats Waller record, filming street scenes with his 8 millimeter camera, talking about everyday life with his landlady ("She's like a second mother to me"), reminiscing with Duke Ellington, playing billiards, practicing the piano, walking around the zoo, taping a saxaphone duo with another jazz legend, Don Byas, and performing in clubs overflowing with fans. Indispensable.
Sonny Rollins: Live at Laren (1973) - There Is No Greater Love - Don't Stop the Carnival - Alfie - St. Thomas Ben Webster: Big Ben in Europe (1967) - Jammin' with Fats - Pianist - Talking about Hilton Jefferson - Rehearsing with Don Byas - At the Billiard Bar - At the Zoo - Performing