The New Yorker sent out an odd tweet this morning:
Dear Readers: The @sonnyrollins "interview" was satire published on our humor blog. Our apologies to anyone who thought it was real.— TNY Culture Desk (@CultureDesk) August 4, 2014
My monocle twitched in curiosity. Sonny Rollins? The legendary jazz saxophonist who looks like NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick? Indeed. Turns out the New Yorker's humor section, Shouts & Murmurs, published a piece affecting to be a sort of as-told-to essay in Rollins' voice in which "Rollins" says that the saxophone "sounds horrible," declares that jazz "might be the stupidest thing anyone ever came up with," and admits to not knowing the names of any other instruments besides the drums.
It was a joke, which seems fairly obvious to me (and I thought it was funny), but per the site Mediate some people either didn't think it was funny or didn't get it at all, so the New Yorker appended a note identifying the piece as satire and sent out the tweet above. Rollins, who actually tweeted to disavow the piece, will be conducting a live interview about the whole affair on YouTube at 9 p.m. tonight ET. (Update, August 6, 4 p.m.: Rollins' response is below via Vimeo.)
Read the entire offending piece here, read a great 2005 New Yorker profile of Rollins here, and check out Rollins and fellow sax legend Ornette Coleman jamming on a track from Rollins's 2011 release Road Shows, Volume 2 here. (It's the first time the two ever played together publicly, and the album made Slate writer Fred Kaplan's list of the best jazz albums of the year.)
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.