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Rollins at 80 still wows loyal jazz fans in Japan
On stage, Rollins, wearing a bright red shirt, was tireless, swaying to the rhythms, playing ballads, standards and calypso-inspired compositions, wrapping up with his signature tune “St. Thomas.”
Hajime Ban, a 69-year-old designer, was in tears after the performance.
“At this stage in his life, he is no longer human,” he said. “I don’t want to think this is the last time we’re going to be able to hear him.”
Rollins doesn’t dwell on his past, although he is one of a handful left standing among the giants of jazz, who were so critical in defining the art form during the 1950s and 1960s.
“I am still able to play my horn. It is a blessing. It is a gift. I am not looking backward at all,” he said. “Eighty is fine.”
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