Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Sonny Rollins: ‘You Can’t Think And Play At The Same Time’

sonny rollins

Music is an expression of the life force within the universe! It feeds the soul, and it reveals the movement of life's magnificent energy through us. Music is open field, never ending in its ability to shape and move through space and time.

Here's a brief clip I came across from a discussion with the great jazz musician and tenor saxophonist, Sonny Rollins.

While the interview and discussion is largely (or explicitly) centered around jazz, there are a few key lessons in here that we should all consider applying in our lives, as that's the real meaning Rollins is sharing:

  1. We have to take time to meditate and reflect, so that we might continue to live a life with - and on - purpose.
  2. We have to develop a conscious appreciation of who we are... both in terms of the larger environment within which we live, as well as who we are today, within the longer arc of the universe. We occupy but a moment within a long span of time. Yet our moments can be wonderfully impactful if we are mindful.
  3. When we take the time to care for ourselves, the music of the universe will move through us, and thus impact the people around us in ways that affirm life, and add beauty to the world.

It's a brief interview, and worth listening to - especially if you ever wonder what moves the great musicians around us.

Brief description:

More than once, Rollins has stepped away from his adoring audiences for extended sabbaticals: He'd decide he wasn't good enough, take a couple of years off to practice and study, and come back when he felt ready. He's taking some time off again now, but that may be due more to the fact that he's 83 than a desire to rethink his music. In the meantime, Rollins has been leaking some live recordings for a series he calls "Road Shows."

The latest installment, Road Shows, Vol. 3, comes out Tuesday. He spoke with NPR's Arun Rath about the value of time away from the studio, and why, when you make your living improvising, a little spiritual practice can be a big help.

Transcript also available here.

May 3, 2014.

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