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Friday, 13 June 2008 18:23 Host: 121-72-179-209.dsl.telstraclear.net
Sonny Rollins - Sydney Opera House June 1st 2008
Sonny walked on to stage with the band and the capacity crowd exploded in a show of appreciation I have seldom seen at the start of a concert. Sonny shuffled to centre stage and raised his tenor soaking in the welcome. His band members took their seats and waited.
"St Thomas" is Sonny's signature tune and he did not disappoint. He blew for fully 12 minutes. Every phrase was a new idea, no two phrases sounded the same, from the bottom of the horn to the top of the altissimo range it was all there. A Caribbean carnival band had taken over the Opera House and the roar at the end of the track was heartfelt and deafening.
After 2 hours the band left the stage. We weren't letting them away so easily and after 5 or 6 minutes of whistling, clapping and stomping they returned for one last number. In fact we were still whistling, clapping and stomping after that encore but the house lights came up.
On the way out I studied the faces of the crowd and again everyone was smiling. I wondered if like me the whole audience, and the band, had been smiling for the last 2 hours 10 minutes.
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