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Today we’re continuing our celebration of Black Music Month with the incredible jazz legend, Sonny Rollins. Rollins is an American tenor saxophonist and composer who is widely regarded as one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. Sadly, now at 91 years-old, Rollins no longer plays as a result of pulmonary fibrosis. Fortunately for us though, he’s able to look back over an eight-decade career that started at the beginnings of Bebop, and included playing with the Rolling Stones, and performing on stages all over the world.

On today’s episode, Justin Richmond talks to Sonny Rollins about one of his first big gigs in 1949 playing alongside other jazz icons like Bud Powell and Fats Navarro. He also explains why he no longer actively listens to music, and for the first time ever, Rollins talks about how Charlie “Bird” Parker is the reason he kicked drugs.

Hear over nine hours of our favorite Sonny Rollins-featured songs HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is president and co-founder of Pushkin Industries. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of six New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers,…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…