Various things (big and small) I learned while reading Aidan Levy's monumental biography of the saxophone giant:

Bird's eclecticism may have inspired Sonny's

Parker, like Ellington, was decidedly beyond category. He demonstrated to Sonny that anything was fair game—from Bartók and Beethoven to Byas and Ben Webster. Sonny, like Parker, recognized that the Great Man theory was a myth. There would be no Bird without Earl Bostic, Johnny Hodges, and Willie Smith, or Stravinsky for that matter—but it was Bird who pulled it all together. "He bought records of Kay Kyser's 'Slow Boat to China,' which he played often, and Mario Lanza singing 'Be My Love,' which he would imitate, singing in an exaggerated, fractured tenor," recalled Chan Parker, Bird's common-law wife, of his eclectic taste. "The only record he bought which was even close to being hot was Peggy Lee's 'Lover,' which he would play over and over until my mother would freak out." One day, he visited Sheila Jordan in her loft and he "turned me on to Béla Bartók and Stravinsky." 

[p. 74, Ch. 6, end note 19: Chan Parker, My Life in E-flat (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993), 34; Jordan, interview with the author. ] [Peggy Lee sings "Lover" in the 1953 film The Jazz Singer as well]

Bird said to learn the lyrics, and he used licorice-scented breath freshener

One of Bird's trade secrets: "Learn the lyrics to all the standard songs we play and learn to sing all the original pieces, and try to sing them in tune.. and that way, you won't play anything uncouth," he told Arthur Taylor. Bird knew all the lyrics, and sometimes referred to songs by lyrics instead of their proper title: "All the Things You Are" became "YATAG," an acronym for his favorite line, "you are the angel glow." Sonny, too, would always learn the lyrics to the songs he performed. 

[p. 76, Ch. 6 end note 33: Art Taylor, oral history interview by Warren Smith, July 26, 1994, Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History Project, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division, New York Public Library; Parker, My Life in E-flat, 22.]

The Counts of Bop didn't pick up only on Bird's licks; they also picked up on his mannerisms, from the licorice-scented Sen-Sen breath freshener he used to the pocket watch he kept in his shirt pocket.34 "We were all trying to emulate Charlie Parker," recalled Art Taylor. According to Taylor, they even copped Bird's walk. "He had an accident when he was a child which gave him some kind of affliction where he had a limp, so everybody was walking around limping like Bird, thinking it was a hip walk."35 Bird was like Papa Legba, the Afro-Haitian orisa, or spirit guide, who walked with a limp because he walked between two worlds- he had one foot in the human
world and one foot in the world of the gods.36 Parker was an orisa to Sonny and his friends. 

[p. 77; end note 35 Taylor,oral history with Brown and Holley. Taylor is probably referring to the November 1936 car accident in the Ozarks when Parker was sixteen years old. The crash killed bassist George Wilkerson. “I broke three ribs. I had a spine fracture,” Parker said. “I mean, everybody was so afraid that I wouldn’t—I wouldn’t walk erect no more, but everything was all right.” Parker quoted in Woideck, Charlie Parker, 10. End note 36: John Mason and Gary Edwards, Black Gods—Orisa Studies in the New World (Brooklyn: Yoruba Theological Archministry, 1985), 9–12.]

The intro to "Dance of the Infidels" is partially inspired by Prokofiev

Bud began teaching Sonny and Jackie McLean the music that would be on the record. There were two tunes recorded with the Be-Bop Boys, a quintet led by Sonny Stitt and Kenny Dorham in 1946, "Bouncing with Bud" by Powell and Gil Fuller, originally known as "Bebop in Pastel," and Powell's "Wail," originally known as "Fool's Fancy."82 They also rehearsed Powell's "Dance of the Infidels," an altered twelve-bar blues with an intro culled from Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges, and "52nd Street Theme" by Bud's mentor, Thelonious Monk. [pp. 114-5, Ch. 8 end note 82: “Bebop in Pastel,” a.k.a. “Bouncing with Bud,” and “Fool’s Fancy,” a.k.a. “Wail,” were recorded on August 23, 1946, by the Be-Bop Boys with Kenny Dorham, Sonny Stitt, bassist Al Hall, drummer Wallace Bishop, and Powell.] [I'm not sure exactly where in Love for Three Oranges the Bud Powell reference lies]

Sonny recorded with the MJQ on a rented horn

[Jimmy] Heath lent him [Sonny] his tenor, expecting to get it back, especially considering his brother Percy was on the date. He had no such luck; Sonny pawned it immediately.

The following day, October 7, 1953, Sonny had a recording date for Prestige with Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, John Lewis, and Percy Heath—the MJQ—for what would become Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet.48 Since Sonny's borrowed saxophone was already in hock, Ira Gitler rented one for him.49 ..."No Moe," a rhythm changes, is a sly reference to Elmo Hope's nickname, No (not Moe).52 [p. 166]

Sonny's first recording with Monk was on Friday the 13th

And the tune titles emerged serendipitously: 

The first piece was a medium shuffle with a thirty-two-bar form based on the standard
"Sweet Sue,"63 with a tricky sixteenth-note line on the bridge. Just as Sonny did back in the sessions in Monk's bedroom, they rose to the occasion. Gitler asked for a title. "Let's call this....," Monk said, trailing off. Gitler marked the title as "Let's Call This." The arrangement for the next tune called for Watkins to harmonize with Sonny in an unusual dissonance; he may have wondered if he was playing the part right, but of course he was. It ends with a sixteenth-note machine-gun burst that resolves into a tritone—what Monk called ugly beauty. When they finished the tune, Gitler asked for a title. "Think of one," Monk said, asking Gitler to come up with it himself. Ira marked it down as "Think of One."64

They had time for—and needed—one more tune to fill out the desired LP. Monk wanted to record "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," but they didn't have time to work out an arrangement, so Monk wrote the last tune on the spot. With a four-bar chromatic piano intro, the melody is a simple four-bar ostinato line repeated four times—an auditory equivalent to Escher's staircase. 66 Sonny managed to play an eighty-bar solo without running out of ideas as Jones's ride cymbal just kept swinging and Percy Heath kept walking down that staircase, sometimes in contrary motion to the others. When Gitler realized that the piece had legs, he grabbed a piece of paper, wrote "MORE" in big letters, and held it up to the control-room glass. So the band began trading fours, and the resulting track was nearly eleven minutes long. Gitler had just the name for it: "Friday the Thirteenth."67

For their efforts, Down Beat gave them a two-star review, giving the "unlucky Friday" a withering critique.

[p. 168]

"Oleo" is a reference to margarine

And "Doxy" also has a veiled meaning.

Sonny's "Oleo" is a B-flat rhythm changes with offbeat accents. It was smooth like butter, the title a reference to oleomargarine.21 It marked Miles's first recorded use of his iconic Harmon mute, complemented by Sonny's breathy subtone ... "Doxy" has a sixteen-bar chord progression similar to Bob Carleton's standard "Ja-Da." The rumor that "Doxy" refers to a European bread spread is false.24 Rather, the title is a double entendre- "sacred and profane," Sonny said. "Religious doctrine and/or prostitute, loose woman/liturgical."25 ...

The final tune was Sonny's "Airegin," on which Silver lays out on the melody. "I saw a photograph of some Nigerian dancers in a magazine and it thrilled me very much to see," Sonny later explained. "So the next song that I wrote I dedicated to the dancers, and I titled it 'Airegin, which is Nigeria spelled backwards."27 Airegin and origin also have a homophonic connection. "It was an attempt to introduce some kind of black pride into the conversation of the time. That was my history," Sonny said. "I felt it was time for black people to not feel embarrassed or...ashamed of Africa...but... I wanted to be slick about it. Maybe I felt I had to be slick about it."28

[p. 175, ch. 13 endnote 24: Charles Fox and Albert McCarthy, Jazz on Record: A Critical Guide to the First 50 Years, 1917–1967 (London: Hanover Books, 1968), 15. Sonny had never been to Europe when he composed the song; endnote 25: Terri Hinte, email to the author, July 23, 2021. “Doxy” derives from “doxa,” an unprovable opinion in Greek. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it means both “the unmarried mistress of a beggar or rogue . . . slang, paramour, prostitute” and “Opinion (esp. in religious or theological matters,” as in orthodoxy; end note 27: Tam Fiofori, “Re-entry: The New Orbit of Sonny Rollins,” Down Beat, October 14, 1971, 14–15, 39. The title is a stealthy reference to the Nigerian independence movement to escape British colonial rule, and constitutes Sonny’s attempt to promote a sense of black consciousness within the African diaspora and the jazz community. “Nigerians in London to Discuss Freedom,” New York Times, July 31, 1953; Ndukwe N. Egbuonu, “For a Unified Nigeria,” New York Times, May 31, 1953; “2 Nigerian Leaders Rebuff London; Demand Dominion Status by 1956,” New York Times, June 17, 1953; Michael J. West, “Sonny Rollins Speaks,” JazzTimes, February 16, 2017,; endnote 28: Sonny Rollins (HistoryMakers A2016.113), interview by Harriette Cole, December 3, 2016, HistoryMakers Digital Archive.]

Sonny took on various day jobs in 1955 while kicking his habit: salesman, porter, janitor, truck-loading

Sonny took whatever he could get.102 One day, Sonny bumped into guitarist George Freeman on the job when he knocked on his door. "I was surprised to see him, and I guess he was surprised to see me," Freeman recalled. "But he was selling lady's stockings. That was my last time seeing Sonny. After that he became totally famous."103 He did a stint as a porter, as a janitor at a typewriter repair shop on the North Side on Ohio Street, and at a restaurant supply business in Greektown loading and unloading trucks for deliveries in Chicago and nearby in Gary and Hammond, Indiana,104 At the truck-loading job, Sonny befriended some of the workers and disclosed his secret identity, but at the typewriter factory, they had no idea. "It was about ten guys in there fixing typewriters, and I was like the janitor," Sonny said. "I think they called me Wally, see, cause my name is Walter.... I used to put up signs on the wall saying, Please don't throw your paper towels on the floor.'"105

[p. 192, ch. 13 endnote 102: TedPanken,“SonnyRollins#2—(11-14-00),” With his skill set, menial jobs were “the only thing that I was able to make a living at.” “And so I really had to work. But in doing it I found a certain . . . there was something good about work- ing with your hands. I mean, remember what Gandhi said. There’s a certain wonderful release. There’s a spiritual feeling when you really work and do something"; endnote 103: George Freeman, interview with the author, September 2, 2017; endnote 104: Chip Stern, unpublished draft, “Sonny Rollins: The Cross and the Rose,”box 111, folder 1, Rollins Papers; Tesser, “How Sonny Defeated the Dragon”; Sachs, “Sonny Rollins Finds Symmetry in Chicago Show.” The typewriter repair job was probably at Shipman-Ward Manufacturing Co. Sonny identified the location of the typewriter repair company as on Ohio Street on the North Side of Chicago. In the 1955 Chicago Yellow Pages, accessible from the Library of Congress digital archives, there is only one typewriter repair business on Ohio Street, Shipman-Ward at 320 West Ohio. Chicago Yellow Pages, 1955, 2179, For the truck-loading job, it was in the restaurant supply district on Madison Street west of Halsted, where Sonny said he worked: places like Schuham Co., Gold Bros., Julius Bender, and IRA China; end note 105: Rollins, interview by Cole.]

Mark Turner on Sonny and Trane (Tenor Madness)

"They're both storytelling," tenor saxophonist Mark Turner explained, "but Sonny feels more like a novelist and Trane is taking a journey to the top of a mountain and then coming back down with information to give us all. Thev're two different paradigms, but both of them are necessary."171

[p. 215, ch. 15 endnote 171: Mark Turner, interview with the author, March 12, 2015.]

Way Out West was recorded starting at 3 AM (because everyone was working before)

Sonny was playing with Max from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. 42 Brown and Manne also had packed recording schedules.43 So the session was called for March 7 at 3 a.m. It would give everyone enough time to make it to Contemporary Studios after their respective gigs and Brown enough time to catch his breath and make it to his recording session with Stuff Smith late
that afternoon.

"They were young, virile guys. They could play long hours," Sonny said, "It went until we could get it done."44


"Les Koenig left the choice of material completely to me;" Sonny said. "I was out west and had all these Western songs in mind from my youth. The album is merely a tribute to independence and being self sufficient, which is what the West really means—at least in Westerns. "48 He would call it Way Out West, a reference to the 1937 Laurel and Hardy film. One key touchstone for the album was Herb Jeffries, the singer who lent his husky baritone to the 1940 hit "Flamingo" with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Sonny had first encountered Jeffries as a movie cowboy in Harlem on the Prairie (1937) and The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), with his ten-gallon hat and six-shooter proclaiming the kind of radical black Americana Sonny would strive to embody."

[p. 252, ch. 18 end note 43: On March 4, the Peterson Trio was on the television program Jazz Today; the next day, Manne was recording with Harry “Sweets” Edison and Sonny’s hero Ben Webster; on March 7, he was booked in the studio with Stuff Smith, Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, and Alvin Stoller. On March 1, Manne was with Quincy Jones; March 2 with Red Norvo. Shelly Manne in Tom Lord, The Jazz Discography (Lord Music Reference); end note 44: Rollins, interview with the author, November 3, 2021; end note 48:  Myers, Why Jazz Happened, 117.]

A phrase from Sonny on "My Old Flame" on Kenny Dorham's Jazz Contrasts became "Like Sonny"

Jazz Contrasts would not be a best-selling album, but it had a significant impact on those who did buy it—especially John Coltrane. Coltrane evidently studied the record and hung on every note Sonny played. In the eleventh and twelfth bars of Sonny's solo on "My Old Flame" (at 3:21 to be exact), Sonny improvised a laid-back diminished pattern that he hadn't played on record before and never played again. Coltrane took that ten-second riff and turned it into a melodic tribute—"Like Sonny."97 

[p. 260, ch. 18 end note 97: This is the common wisdom, and the reference is clear, but Lewis Porter equivocates: “Who knows if Trane heard Sonny play it in person somewhere, and for a longer stretch of time?” Porter, correspondence with the author.]

Sonny regretted being an impetuous bandleader at times

"I used to be pretty ruthless. I didn't spare anyone's feelings," Sonny said. "I used to hire and fire with regularity—that was my trait. was constantly auditioning guys. It was like, 'Okay, good, next!' I'm not proud of that period. I think I might have been able to handle it better but at that time I was really intense about things coming out right."45

[p. 272, ch. 19, endnote 45:  Charles Waring, “Sonny Rollins: The Blue Note Recordings,” UDiscoverMusic, September 7, 2020,]

Wilbur Ware used Donald Bailey's bass on A Night at the Vanguard, and Elvin didn't realize he was on the gig (or a recording) 

Ware and Jones have differing accounts of how they ended up on the record. According to Ware, he came down to the Vanguard the previous day, and Sonny asked him to come on Sunday to " do a track on my date: And he said, 'but I'll pay you for the whole date. It wasn't that much. it was fifty or seventy-five dollars or something like that--one side. And two sides, LP, was a hundred and a quarter, I believe..and he said, And you don't have to bring your bass, and he said to Don [Bailey], Will it be all right if he uses yours?"' And he said, Yeah, that'd be fine.'"74

Jones was not aware that Sonny wanted him. He had recently returned from a three-month northern European tour with J. J. Johnson's group, and soon after, Johnson fired him, apparently on November 2. When he got back to New York the next day, Jones had to cool off. "I used to carry a pistol all the time and I said, Shit, I don't want to be bothered with this motherfucker""75 Jones's nonmusician brother Tom was visiting, and said, "'You look funny! Let's go out and get drunk, " Jones recalled, "so we start walking around going to these bars and we got up to Seventh Avenue, and there's Wilbur Ware. I didn't even know what it was and it was the Village Vanguard. And Wilbur says Where have you been? Sonny has been looking for you all night!' And I said, 'Wilbur, please don't tell him. You know I don't believe this. Sonny ain't looking for nobody.' And he says, 'C'mon down. I'll prove it."76

When Jones and Ware walked down the stairs to the Vanguard, Sonny was getting ready for the evening set, and Sonny asked Jones to sit in.77 Jones had walked into the Vanguard half in the bag, packing heat, still seething that J. J. Johnson had fired him; a few minutes later, he was recording A Night at the Village Vanguard.

As Ware tells it, Bailey and La Roca began the set, and Sonny called him and Elvin up for their one tune. Yet once they took the stand, they never left.78 Jones had some apprehension about sitting down at La Roca's drum set. "I was afraid to play.;" Jones said. "I hate playing on somebody else's drums, 'cause I am prone to put a hole through somebody's bass drum."79 Ware, on the other hand, was used to playing on a borrowed bass.80

A pickup gig with no set list: not the most auspicious beginning for a live recording. Jones didn't even realize he was being recorded at first. "I finally came to my senses and I see there's Frank Wolff and the Blue Note executives. They were recording!" Jones said. "I didn't know this was a recording, and Sonny said, 'Oh man, thank you,/ and I said, 'Oh man. Shit!'"81

[pp. 275-276, ch. 19, endnote 75: With Bobby Jaspar, Tommy Flanagan, and Wilbur Little “all the way from Kiruna up in the Lapland to Gothenburg,” he said. Upon their return, they had a gig in Philadelphia, and at the end of the gig, J. J. told Jones, “ ‘You’re not keeping the time,’ and I said, ‘Well, you play the drums—here are the sticks.’” After getting fired, Jones thought to himself, “‘Well, I better get away from here, ’cause I don’t want to get excited.’ ’Cause I used to carry a pistol all the time and I said, ‘Shit, I don’t want to be bothered with this motherfucker.’” Elvin Jones, oral history interview with Anthony Brown, June 10–11, 2003, Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; endnote 76 ibid.]

[endnote 77: ibid. Sonny said, “‘Why don’t you play this one set with me?’ So I say, ‘Okay.’ ”; endnote 78: “So Pete sits down at the drums, and Don grabs his bass, and this is a live recording, and Sonny walks out to the microphone, center stage, and says, ‘Will Elvin Jones and Wilbur Ware come to the bandstand, please?’” recalled Wilbur Ware. “And it was just like that. So, you know, Pete and Donald had to get up and they came back looking at us odd, but they knew we were gonna play, so it was just the idea that we would play first.” W. Ware, oral history interview with G. Ware; endnote 79: Jones, oral history interview with Brown]

[endnote 80:  Jones was a large man, and a powerhouse behind the drums, but La Roca’s drumset survived the Elvin treatment. Ware, on the other hand, was used to playing on a borrowed bass; he often used George Joyner’s when his had been pawned. Nasser, Upright Bass; endnote 81: Jones, oral history interview with Brown. Unlike some drummers who might have been intimidated by the pianoless trio format, Jones was up to the challenge. “The bass player is there. You got the root to the chords, so you don’t have to worry about that,” he said. “It isn’t as if it’s blank. It’d be hard without a bass"] 

Sonny played together with Elvin and Jimmy Garrison before Trane did [late 1957]

It was probably at this time that Sonny introduced Elvin Jones to a young Philadelphia bassist named Jimmy Garrison; they would later play together in the John Coltrane Quartet. Sonny had a concert in Philadelphia, and Garrison wound up sitting in. 102 The bassist was "scared to death," he recalled. "The cats around Philly were good, but not of that stature. Sonny Rollins and Elvin Jones, man! Anyway, I made the gig, terrified, and got through it. Even then I had no problem playing with Elvin, and he never forgot."103

[ch. 19, endnote 102:  Herb Nolan, “Jimmy Garrison: Bassist in the Front Line,” Down Beat, June 6, 1974, 18, 41. Sonny hired Jones and bassist Jimmy Bond, who happened to be Garrison’s teacher. Bond had to leave for another gig and asked Garrison to sub for him. Garrison and Elvin Jones, who would later work together in John Coltrane’s classic quartet, had never met. “Playing with Elvin is another thing. If you are strong and can do your thing, it’s not difficult working with him"; endnote 103: Nolan, “Jimmy Garrison.” “When I got to New York in ’59 I saw him in a club and he remembered me,” Garrison recalled]

Paul Desmond turned Sonny onto Pepto-Bismol for touring

The third annual "Jazz for Moderns" tour in November 1958 had one tour bus, four groups, and thirty concerts in twenty-four days, spanning Toronto, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the South.1 When it was possible, Sonny drove his new Cadillac with the classic fishtail fenders, just like he had once seen Coleman Hawkins drive through Sugar Hill.2 "It was like driving a feather," Sonny said.3 Mostly, though, he rode the bus. "I made good friends on that tour," Sonny recalled. "Paul Desmond and I became good friends. I remember he was the guy that introduced me to Pepto-Bismol, because when you're on the road, you eat all sorts of crap, so he said, 'Oh man, here, try this. And it actually worked, so to this day I carry Pepto-Bismol in my briefcase."4

[p. 307, ch. 21, endnote 1: The 1956 edition featured the Count Basie Orchestra, Erroll Garner, Gerry Mulli- gan, the Australian Jazz Quartet, Chico Hamilton, and the Kai Winding Septet. “All Star Lineup in Jazz Show,” Chicago Daily Defender, November 6, 1956. The 1957 tour had George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Chico Hamilton, Miles Davis, the Australian Jazz Quartet, and Helen Merrill. Ken Meier, “St. Louis,” Down Beat, November 28, 1957, 54. “There was a bus à la the olden days of when musicians traveled,” Sonny later recalled. Sonny Rollins, interview with the author, January 25, 2019]

[endnote 2: George W. Goodman, “Sonny Rollins at Sixty-Eight,” Atlantic, July 1999,; Rollins, interview with the author, January 25, 2019; endnote 3: Rollins, interview with the author, December 10, 2021; endnote 4: Jazz Video Guy (Bret Primack), “Sonny Rollins Remembers the Jazz for Moderns Tour,” posted July 20, 2016,]

During the first Bridge sabbatical as now, public restrooms are scarce in NYC

Sonny kept odd hours. "I would go up there at night, I would go up there in the day... I would be up there fifteen, sixteen hours," he said.25 He would often be up there at three in the morning, blowing into the dark expanse.26 The Bridge had some drawbacks. "Yes, the bowels must not be clogged and you must not be in need of going to the toilet either," Sonny wrote in his journal."'As the latter case proved my difficulty as I could not bring air and attack thru my horn for fear of having an accidental elimination.27 To avoid this, he took breaks. "I'd get there early, practice, go back home to refresh myself, use the bathroom, get a cognac and then return to the bridge to practice more."28 With nothing but open air and the East River down below. there was of course a simple way to relieve a full bladder, but Sonny said, "I would never urinate on the Bridge....It was a sacred place. That would have been like pissing in church."29

[pp. 341-42, ch. 23, endnote 25: Sonny Rollins, Academy of Achievement interview, June 2, 2006,; endnote 26: Goldberg, Jazz Masters of the Fifties, 87; endnote 27: Box 21, folder 2, Rollins Papers; endnote 28: Lewis, “Sonny Rollins: ‘A Charmed Life.’” The idle speculation about his motivation for the sabbatical wasn’t entirely wrong. “The par of products was not high enough,” Sonny later explained. “That’s the way I felt about my playing in 1959. I was filled with questions. When I quit, my intention was to change drastically my whole approach to the horn. After a while I began realizing that that wasn’t what was needed at all.” North, “Prodigal’s Return"; endnote 29: Sonny Rollins, interview with the author, December 10, 2021]

Sonny called his music with the Don Cherry/Bob Cranshaw/Billy Higgins quartet "Logical Music"

Sonny had guidelines for collective improvisation. He referred to it not as "improvised music," he wrote, but as "Logical Music." The "format of composition" was essentially a round-robin of conversations in duo, with third and fourth voice entering to create a "dissonance" that advanced the musical discourse.206

    1. All begin together
    2. Throughout composition 2 instruments play together. e.g. Sonny + Bob play together after start. Then Sonny + Bob are joined for a dissonance by Donald which then leads to the Donald Sonny duet which incidentally should suggest a different timbre than the dissonant carry over' 3 part section!
    3. (Billy bears a strong resemblance to Bud Powell.)
    After duet of S+D., B. joins in for a TRIO which should have a HARMONIC sound rather than a dissonance sound.

Being on the same wavelength was paramount. Sonny wrote out a set of "rules." Each set began "away from the bandstand", they entered the stage in medias res.

    After finding our KEY/MOD/GROOVE/, through a series of statements we gradually involve 
    ourselves with the rhythm and the sound and make our way to the bandstand in a rhythmic 
    manner. Almost a DANCE! For after all do we not do everything in rhythm?207

The key was unity, as Sonny explained in all caps: "ALL SHOULD HAVE WATCHES SET TO THE MINUTE AT THE BEGINNING OF EVERY NIGHT. THE START OF A SET WILL BE ON SIGNAL OF AN EXACT MOMENT.—THIS WAY WE WILL ALL BE READY TO ANSWER EACH OTHER IF the situation so necessitates—which at the beginnings it will call for this conversation to find the MODE which we all hear."

[pp. 384-385, ch. 24, endnote 206: “Logical Music,” note, box 20, folder 1, Rollins Papers. “On the initial set we demonstrated the fact of this ‘Logical Music.’ We played ‘Dearly Beloved.’ ‘Dearly Beloved’ was played in an improvised manner; we utilized certain effects which had been rehearsed in sequence, in no particular sequence, but they were utilized rather, where the movement dictated. Next we played ‘Oleo’ and we thus concluded that set—short—but—sweet. The lessons to be learned are that we as a group were able to function in a collective intuitive effort. Producing improvised music, or rather Logical Music”; endnote 207: “Rules,” box 21, folder 2, Rollins Papers]


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