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Product Details

  • An MVD Exclusive
  • SKU: MVD9687BR
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • UPC: 760137968788
  • Street Date: 08/04/17
  • PreBook Date: 06/30/17
  • Label: Mug-Shot Productions »
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Run Time: 101 mins
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Audio: STEREO
  • Year of Production: 1986
  • Region Code: 0
  • Box Lot: 30
  • Territory: WORLD
  • Language: English


Cast & Crew

  • Actors:
  •       Sonny Rollins
  •       Lucille Rollins
  •       Heikki Sarmanto
  •       Francis Davis
  •       Gary Giddins
  •       Ira Gitler
  • Director: ROBERT MUGGE
  • Producer: ROBERT MUGGE
  • Director: ROBERT MUGGE
  • Producers: ROBERT MUGGE


Product Assets



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Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus

SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS is Robert Mugge's dazzling homage to Sonny Rollins, the greatest living jazz improviser.

Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
  • List Price: $19.95  
  • Your Price: $19.95
  • In Stock: 292
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Tenor saxophone master Sonny Rollins has long been hailed as one of the most important artists in jazz history, and still, today, he is viewed as the greatest living jazz improviser. In 1986, filmmaker Robert Mugge produced SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS, a feature-length portrait of Rollins, named after one of his most celebrated albums. The project began in May of that year when Mugge and a small crew accompanied Sonny and Lucille Rollins to Tokyo, Japan where the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra premiered his Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra with Heikki Sarmanto of Finland conducting and Rollins himself soloing throughout. The next big shoot was in August, when Mugge and a larger crew filmed Rollins and his ensemble performing at sculpted rock quarry Opus 40 in Saugerties, New York. The most surprising part of the latter concert was that, midway through his performance, Rollins leaped from a 6-foot cliff, fell to his back on the ground and, in spite of suffering a broken heel, continued to play his saxophone. Rounding out the production were interviews with Rollins in Japan, with Heikki Sarmanto in Japan, with Rollins and his wife Lucille in New York City, and with jazz critics Ira Gitler, Gary Giddins, and Francis Davis, also in New York City. A soundtrack album, "G-Man," released by Fantasy Records, was named by Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau as the best album of 1987, whether jazz or rock, and the fourth best album of the decade. For MVD Visual's new release of SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS on both Blu-ray and DVD, the film has been given 4K remastering, and an updated commentary by Mugge is included as a bonus feature.

Track Listing

    • Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
    • G-Man
    • Unaccompanied Soloing
    • Don't Stop the Carnival
    • The Bridge

    Bonus Materials

    • Updated commentary by director Robert Mugge.

    Sales Points

    • A portrait of one of the greatest artists in jazz history.

    Press Quotes

    Revelatory and engrossing. SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS, which treats its subject with the homage due such a formidable music figure, is brightly conceived and evolves into a superb musical profile.

         —Ernie Santosuosso, Boston Globe

    Posterity should acknowledge...that Rollins is currently in one of his most glorious periods; and Mugge's loving 101-minute, primarily performance film should provide the major evidence.

         —Bob Blumenthal, Boston Phoenix

    As a documentary of a supreme jazz artist and man of artistic integrity, Robert Mugge's SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS is an electrifying record of an artist at work.

         —Allen Young , Variety

    SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS brings Rollins' talents into sharp focus: not as a relic of jazz days gone by...but as a creative force still to be reckoned with. Mugge also manages to create a fine work of cinema at the same time. A portrait worth seeing.

         —Gil Asakawa, Westword (Denver)

    A clear, straightforward portrait of an artist who's never stopped searching and growing.

         —Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle

    Solos of supernatural strength. A film worth seeing, and much more worth hearing.

         —Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader

    Robert Mugge's stunning tribute...focuses on Rollins' development as an American musical genius...this Bach of the tenor sax. Rollins tests the stratosphere of his instrument as no one else does.

         —Jules Becker, Brookline Citizen

    Brilliantly captures one of the great saxophonists in jazz - and probably its most revered living improviser - during one of his most intensely creative periods. Starling performances. His music is always revealing; so is this loving tribute.

         —Richard Harrington, Washington Post

    Magnificent. One of the most powerfully sustained jazz videos to date.

         —Kevin Lynch, Down Beat

    [A] riveting study of the life and times of Sonny Rollins...Mugge's vibrant film is living, breathing proof - if we require any more - of Rollins' brilliance as an improviser and composer.

         —Philip Booth, Jazziz

    Widely hailed upon its release as essential viewing, not just for fans of jazz but for anyone even remotely interested in the creative process. [A] remarkable film.

         —Mike Joyce, Jazz Times


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