The music catalog of legendary jazz musician Sonny Rollins has been acquired by Reservoir Media in the latest sale to make waves within the industry. Terms of the deal, which was announced on Wednesday (Feb. 22) were undisclosed, but include the publishing and recording rights to various works throughout the 92-year-old’s discography.
Rollins, a native New Yorker, shared his excitement over the purchase while voicing his trust that Reservoir will see that the legacy of his music continues and grows with time. “I’m happy that Reservoir will be helping to maintain my musical legacy, which was created in concert with so many great musicians I’m proud to be associated with,” the renowned saxophonist said in a statement coinciding with news of the acquisition.
Rell Lafargue, Reservoir president and chief operating officer, also shared his reaction to the deal, revealing his adoration for Rollins and his music, which dates back to his own days as a creative. “I first learned of Sonny through his music, playing ‘St. Thomas’ as a young jazz student,” Lafargue said, who praised Rolling for his contributions to “musical innovation” within the genre. “And it’s incredibly meaningful that Reservoir and I can now commit to preserving Sonny’s musical legacy and amplifying his contributions to the artform for audiences old and new.”
Known as “The Saxophone Colossus”- which doubles as the title of his acclaimed 1956 album – Rollins is among the most lauded jazz men of the last century, with a career spanning several decades. Having worked with the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie, he also carved out his own lane with classics such as his iconic composition “St. Thomas,” which was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2016, along with the entirety of The Saxophone Colossus album.
A winner of multiple GRAMMY Awards, Rollins received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 ceremony and released his most recent live album, Road Shows, Vol. 4: Holding the Stage, in 2016.