Sonny Rollins takes top honors at Jazz Awards

June 11, 2011 - 4:56 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins isn't slowing down at age 80, winning musician of the year honors at the Jazz Awards.

Rollins, currently touring New Zealand, was also named best tenor saxophonist at Saturday's awards ceremony at the City Winery club.

Saxophonist Joe Lovano's Charlie Parker tribute, "Bird Songs," is the year's best jazz recording and his band Us Five, including surprise Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding on bass, the top small ensemble.

Other double winners include Ambrose Akinmusire for up-and-coming artist and trumpeter, and saxophonist Jimmy Health for lifetime achievement and best jazz book ("I Walked With Giants").

The winners, chosen in voting by the Jazz Journalists Association, include Dee Dee Bridgewater (female singer), Kurt Elling (male singer), Anat Cohen (clarinet), Russell Malone (guitar) and Fred Hersch (piano).

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Online:

http://www.JJAJazzAwards.org