Francis Davis, the jazz critic of The Village Voice, likes the new Sonny Rollins album, about which I have enthused a couple of times. On the other hand:
The problem is the string-of-solos format: When Rollins goes first, everything else is anticlimactic, and when he goes last, as is more often the case, the wait seems foreverâ€”you wish he’d give trombone and piano their own features and grab the spotlight. Why have Bob Cranshaw play electric bass if all you ask him to do is walk? The constant buzz is a distraction, and an upright would blend more handsomely with the wood in Rollins’s cello-like lower register.
Davis goes on to write:
Why am I so wild about Without a Song, then?
For his column-length answer, salted with personal anecdotes and an amusing run at Down Beat, go here.