Down Beat - p.684 stars out of 5
- "[H]e demonstrates that he can play as freely as any contemporary improviser, scattering abstract phrases and probing down numerous musical alleyways."
JazzTimes - p.72
"[T]he music is still powerfully affecting because it contains the new, raw emotional wounds that bound everyone in the room together on this night."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1183 stars out of 5
- "[A]s this live recording vividly demonstrates, his innate sense of melodic and rhythmic fluency hasn't deserted him in his twilight years."
Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Sonny Rollins; Clifton Anderson (trombone); Stephen Scott (piano, kalimba); Bob Cranshaw (electric bass, bass guitar); Perry Wilson (drums); Kimati Dinizulu (percussion).
Audio Remixer: Richard Corsello.
Liner Note Author: Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA (09/15/2001).
Editor: Richard Corsello.
Photographers: John Abbott ; Ken Franckling.
Recorded on September 15th, 2001, WITHOUT A SONG is a live recording by jazz icon Sonny Rollins, observing the World Trade Center disaster that occurred just four days prior to the concert. Rollins was one of the few musicians from jazz's golden age still performing with a sense of vitality, and that is especially clear on this recording, which is imbued with the gravity appropriate to the aforementioned tragedy.
Yet the proceedings are never overwhelmed by pathos or grief. Instead, Rollins and his five-piece ensemble offer spirited takes on the standards "Where or When" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," and Rollins's own Latin-inflected "Global Warming." The wit, range, and dexterity that made the saxophonist's name are in evidence throughout, making WITHOUT A SONG a fine showcase for his talents and a testament to the uplifting power of music in the face of dark times.