On the morning of September 11, 2001, Sonny Rollins was in his home, located six blocks from the World Trade Center. His evacuation the next day happened to be filmed by CNN. Despite the travel restrictions, Rollins and his band managed to make their September 15 gig at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. Rollins was still shook up and unsure whether or not he should perform, but his stalwart wife Lucille convinced him to go on.
The result is this beautiful recording, five long songs full of energy and hope. "Without a Song" starts things off warm and lively, with seamless support by Rollins' band: Clifton Anderson (trombone), Stephen Scott (piano), Bob Cranshaw (electric bass), Perry Wilson (drums) and Kimati Dinizulu (percussion). Next is Rollins' classic tune "Global Warming," fifteen sublime minutes of engaging calypso. "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" is more subdued, a lovely meditation with a warm, reflective Rollins and a delicate piano solo by Scott. "Why Was I Born?" starts off with a Rollins solo and then leaps into full swing. The recording wraps up with the Rodgers/Hart piece "Where or When," a nice mid-tempo number with a playful lilt.
A professional musician performs no matter how he or she may feel. One of the most poignant moments on the recording is when Rollins tells the audience, "We must remember that music is one of the beautiful things in life, so we have to try to keep the music alive in some kind of way. Maybe music can help; I don't know, but we have to try something these days."
Without a Song; Global Warming; Introductions; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; Why Was I Born?; Where or When.
Sonny Rollins: tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson: trombone; Stephen Scott: piano,
kalimba (2); Bob Cranshaw: electric bass; Perry Wilson: drums; Kimati Dinizulu: percussion.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.