Sonny Rollins是爵士音乐史上最负盛名的硬波普萨克斯手，在其最着名的硬波普专辑《way out west》的封面上他以夹着萨克斯的牛仔形象出现，从此便在乐迷心中烙上硬朗、不羁的形象。自50年代成名以来，Sonny Rollins录制了数十张专辑，大多数为波普/硬波普的风格.
by Scott Yanow
Sonny Rollins has remained one of the true jazz giants, ranking up there with Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and John Coltrane as one of the all-time great tenor saxophonists. He started on piano, took up the alto, and then permanently switched to tenor in 1946. After making his recording debut with Babs Gonzales in 1949, Rollins made a major impact on dates with J.J. Johnson and Bud Powell the same year; the latter session also matched him with Fats Navarro. Rollins abilities were obvious to the jazz world from the start and he started recording with Miles Davis in 1951 and with Thelonious Monk two years later. After a period out of music, Rollins joined the Max Roach-Clifford Brown quintet in late 1955, continuing after Brownies death until 1957. From then on, he was always a leader.
Sonny Rollins series of brilliant recordings for Prestige, Blue Note, Contemporary, and Riverside in the 1950s found him in peak form and he was acclaimed the top tenor saxophonist of the time, at least until John Coltrane rose to prominence. Therefore, Rollins decision to drop out of music from 1959-1961 shocked the jazz world. When he came back in 1961 with a quartet featuring Jim Hall, his style was largely unchanged, but he soon became a much freer player who was well aware of Ornette Colemans innovations; he even used Ornettes cornetist Don Cherry for a time. Although his playing was a bit more eccentric than previously, Rollins was a major force until, in 1968, he again decided to retire.
Upon his return in 1971, Rollins was more open to the influence of R&B rhythms and pop music, and his recordings since then have not always been essential (often using sidemen not up to his level), but Rollins remains a very vital soloist. Rollins remained active in the new millenium, releasing This Is What I Do in 2000, Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert in 2005, Sonny, Please in 2006, and Soneymoon in 2007.