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Jazz Record Art Collective Features Sonny Rollins in October

The Jazz Record and Art Collective at the Fulton Street Collective has grown in popularity with both jazz musicians and jazz fans to the point where the founder, Chris Anderson, has been able to offer performances just about on a weekly basis.

This coming October he is devoting the entire month to Sonny Rollins and his music. We caught up with Chris to talk about his process for choosing the recordings, the musicians and what people can expect to hear this October for Sonny Rollins month!

Chris Anderson photo by Chris Anderson

Why did you decide to devote October to Sonny Rollins?

I picked Rollins as it was kind of a natural progression with the musicians we have chosen over the years to devote a month to. Up to this point we’ve picked John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock and Cannonball Adderley. I book a month of music at JRAC the same way I book a tour. At JRAC I have a target local musician to build the month around. On a tour I book a target city to build the tour around. I used to book a lot of tours for bands I either managed or played in years ago, and as an agent you always pick the target city and build the tour around that. So if the target city is New York, I’d be looking for venues on the way to NY from Chicago; Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia etc…

For a Month of Rollins my target musician was Pat Mallinger. He’s done a couple of JRAC shows in the past but I knew Rollins was a huge influence on Pat and I wanted to give him an opportunity to take on one of his albums; not only to see how he plays it but to hear what he has to say about it. JRAC has evolved into a format for the band leader to really talk to the audience about the artist and album they have chosen, and I wanted Pat to have a chance to express how Rollins has affected him personally, professionally and musically…so if the month tanks it’s Pat’s fault!!!

Jo Ann Daugherty, Junius Paul, Rajiv Halim and George Fludas performing at the Jazz Record Art Collective in the Fulton Street Collective. Photo by Harvey Tillis

What is the significance of the recordings that were chosen?

That’s up to the musicians. I never tell a musician what album to perform. I like to keep it open and give them the freedom to choose what they want…and in that I get musicians picking albums that are very personal to them. Thus, they take the performance very seriously and hopefully explore and present hidden nuances, whether it be the text of the liner notes, or a specific lead or something that was off which made the album special.

With this month most of the albums chosen are between 1957 and 1966, probably the most productive time in Rollins’ career. I am thrilled that Bobby Broom has jumped on board adding some

depth by performing “No Problem” from 1981…an album he played on.

Did you decide on the leaders of each group to take on the challenge of re-creating some of the legendary recordings or was there another process?

Like I said before I pick a musician to build around, which in this case was Pat. Beyond that it’s tough sometimes to find people who are going to be a good fit. Obviously you’re not going to find too many jazz musicians who when asked to played a Rollins record respond with “Naaah that guy sucks.”

So with an artist that iconic there’s a lot to think about when approaching someone to perform a “classic or influential” record.

How familiar are they with the series? Can they perform in the format JRAC has evolved into? Are they going to take an album too far off the rails and make it too much about their own “interpretation”?

Chris Greene and Chris Madsen actually approached me about playing as word got out and they were both already in my wheelhouse so that made it pretty easy.

I was with Neil Tessier and asked him suggestions of any younger musicians he knew who’d be a good fit and he mentioned Isaiah Collier. I looked up Isaiah saw him play and approached him and he was extremely receptive, really organized right off the bat. I think we had all details, album and his crew in the books in just a day or two.

I knew I wanted to approach Bobby Broom but wasn’t confident he’d have the time or interest. I actually texted Maureen his wife who is an old friend and asked her first if she thought he would be interested. She got back to me right away and said “absolutely.” So I emailed Bobby and he and I went back and forth with dates for a while and then we found one that worked and he said he was in. At that point I stood up from my computer and did the hockey goal celebration windmill in our office.



6273, 1821 W Hubbard St suite 307, Chicago, IL


Jazz Record Art Collective Devotes Month of October to Sonny Rollins.

The Jazz Record Art Collective (JRAC), a monthly series providing local musicians and visual artists alike an opportunity to collaborate and pay homage to influential Jazz artists, continues at the Fulton Street Collective. Every week this October a different Sonny Rollins album will be performed live in its entirety. The performances will also feature an installation and live painting from visual artist Alex Puryear. This is the seventh time since JRAC's inception in 2013 where a month has been devoted to one musician. Previous artists are John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock and Cannonball Adderley.

The month also features several big band performances and several album release concerts.



Javier Resendiz - Piano

Jake Wark - Tenor Sax

Ben Dillinger - Bass

Gustavo Cortiñas - Drums

8:00 Doors

8:30 Show



ISAIAH COLLIER QUARTET performs Sonny Rollins 1962 Release


Isaiah Collier - Tenor

Sam Möching - Guitar

James Wenzel - Bass

Busting Boyd - Drums

8:00 Doors

9:00 Show

WED. OCT. 10


Stu Mindeman – Piano

Victor Garcia – Trumpet

Matt Gold – Guitar

Matt Ulery – Bass

Makaya McCraven – Drums

8:00 Doors

8:30 Show



CHRIS GREENE QUARTET performs Sonny Rollins 1957 Release


Chris Greene - Tenor

Marc Piane - Bass

Steve Corley - Drums

8:00 Doors

9:00 Show

FRI. OCT. 12


Saxophone - Mai Sugimoto, Natalie Lande, Kenneth Leftridge Jr, John Foster-Brooks, Jacob Slocum

Trumpet - John Moore Jr, Constantine Alexander, Ryan Nyther, Kimberly Branch, Jonah Francese

Trombone - Walter Sanchez, Ron Jacoby, Myrish Spell, Craig Sunken

Guitar - Jackson Shepard

Keys - Hayden Ashley

Bass - Adrian Morris

Drums - Desmond Davis

8:30 Doors

9:00 Show

SUN. OCT. 14


Trevor Patrick Watkins - Flute

Richard Zili - Clarinet

Amos Gillespie - Sax

David Keller - Cello

Erin Murphy - Flute

Laura McLaughlin - Clarinet

Henry Zheng - Violin

Christopher Ferrer - Cello

Elena Doubovitskaya - Piano

John Corkill - Percussion

2:30 Doors

3:00 Show

WED. OCT. 17