Inscribed, Limited-Edition Sonny Rollins Photos for Sale Exclusively at

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A 1991 black-and-white photo of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, taken on the beach in Miyazaki, Japan by renowned photographer Jin Akutagawa, is being sold in a limited edition of 100 on Rollins's web site, The numbered collector's-item prints, which will be personally inscribed by the legendary saxophonist, are the latest inducement for visiting the informative -- and heavily trafficked -- site.

We were supposed to have a concert at the beach

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins has offered visitors to his web site an array of incentives just for showing up -- from video interviews to rare downloadable tracks to a series of monthly video podcasts highlighting different aspects of Rollins's life and music. Now visitors have the opportunity to purchase fine art: a personally inscribed, limited-edition photograph of the saxophonist by the acclaimed Japanese photographer Jin Akutagawa.

The black-and-white image of Rollins playing his saxophone on the beach was taken on October 26, 1991, at Kizakihama Beach in Miyazaki, Japan. The weather appears threatening, the wind is whipping up, but Rollins -- in baseball cap, trenchcoat and high-top sneakers -- seems in his element, horn aloft.

"We were supposed to have a concert at the beach," Rollins recalls of that day, "and we were there for the sound check, but the weather was problematic, very overcast. I like clouds, and I like playing on the beach, so I just started playing there waiting to go to the venue, then do the concert later.

"Jin and I had met several times before when I played in Miyazaki. It's a very interesting place; the people there are very artistic.

"Playing outside is always great," adds Rollins, who famously spent two years (1959-61) practicing on New York's Williamsburg Bridge, above the East River. "The water, in particular, is proactive with sounds, very exhilarating."

The numbered collector's-item prints are available exclusively on Rollins's web site and will not be reissued. Only 100 are available. Rollins will personalize each photo with an inscription (limited to a maximum of six words).

Prints are matte, 11x14 inches unframed. The process (C41 processing on Fuji archival paper) and mounting (on acid-free museum board) produce the highest-quality photograph possible. Replication and mounting are by Duggal Photo Labs in New York. Cost per print, including shipping, is $350 U.S. and $425 international. Photos are shipped overnight express with delivery confirmation.

Since the Sonny Rollins web site's debut, on Sonny's 75th birthday in September 2005, web producer Bret Primack has successfully programmed the site with regularly updated multimedia content, including many interviews with Sonny. The site also serves as the nexus for Rollins's global audience, where his loyal fans and new listeners alike have the opportunity to interact with the Saxophone Colossus via his Guestbook.

To market the site, Primack posts Sonny's videos on YouTube, and syndicates the Sonny Rollins Podcast to bloggers, and on iTunes. "The number of people who are watching and downloading Sonny's Podcasts and visiting Sonny's site continues to grow," Primack asserts, "because of Sonny's reputation as well as our content. But what's most interesting is that so many visitors are teenagers. They use the site to both hear and purchase his music, and to learn more about Sonny and his vital contributions to jazz."


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