Even after "retiring" from music a few times since making the tenor sax his raison de vivre in 1946, Sonny Rollins has never ceased to be a jazz innovator and leader. For a man who cut his teeth performing under geniuses Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk and who chose to lead only after the death of his last leader, the inimitable Clifford Brown, Rollins continues to soldier on in the field with the quiet grace and contented, self-reflective smirk that hints at mischief and the knowledge of a job well done. Known for surprising with odd musical choices, he never fails to convert anything to the jazz format and even in his advanced age blows as hard and driven as acolytes half his age. Talented and humble, Sonny Rollins is without a doubt a living legend of American music.
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Sonny Rollins performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler Dr., Miami. Tickets cost $23 to $43. Call 305-374-2444.