Without A Song (The 9/11 Concert)
Dallas Morning News
11 September 2005
Recorded live four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Sonny Rollins’ Without A Song (The 9/11 Concert) is an audio document of a spiritual ceremony. The tenor saxophonist was at home mere blocks from the crumbling World Trade Center. He considered canceling this performance at Boston’s Berklee School of Music. Thankfully, he didn’t.
Mr. Rollins leads his sextet through standards such as “A Nighingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “Where or When.” He swings and sings with the bluster, imagination and color of an improviser much younger than his then-71 years.
The emotional authority of this performance cannot be ignored. For an hour, jazz music conquered confusion and fatigue. And now, with new images of the incomprehensible human disaster of hurricane Katrina, Without A Song offers us the chance for healing and enlightenment, an opportunity to regain the tenacity to overwhelm the high waters of the blues.