I don’t really have a good reason or special occasion to post the following except that I just happened to come across it and now must share:
After some googling, I found out that this performance is taken from a late night music variety show produced by Lorne Michaels, Night Music with David Sanborn, that featured mostly jazz and electronic music and aired from 1988 to 1990.
The transition into the song is sort of awkward, but in his solos, Sonny Rollins (who’s looking here like he could have formed the basis for The Simpsons‘ “Bleedin’ Gums” Murphy) really kills it in the good way. Be sure to note the alto player standing awkwardly (you see him at the 5:10 mark), thinking to himself, “Yeah, I know, I know…I shouldn’t even be up here!” (Update: now that I think of it, chances are that’s Mr. Smooth Jazz, David Sanborn, himself. So I guess he’s thinking, “screw you guys, it’s my show, I can share the stage with Sonny if I want!”)
Sonny Rollins looked quite a bit older when I saw him play at Penn State in, I think, 2001, nearly fifty years after he recorded the landmark, Saxophone Colossus.
Here’s the album version of “Who By Fire,” from the highly-recommended New Skin for an Old Ceremony (1974):