A brief view into the past.
The legendary jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter has re-signed to Blue Note Records, and will release his first album as a leader for the iconic label in 43 years with the February 5, 2013 release of Without A Net, his searing new album with his long-running quartet featuring pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade.
Shorter—who will be entering his 80th year in 2013—first recorded for Blue Note in 1959 as the precocious 26-year-old tenor saxophonist (and prolific composer) in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, which brought him to the attention of label founder Alfred Lion who eventually signed him to his own recording deal. Shorter went on to make a spectacular run of classic albums for Blue Note between 1964-1970 including Night Dreamer, Juju, Speak No Evil, Adam’s Apple, Schizophrenia, and Super Nova during a period of time that also paralleled Shorter’s years with Miles Davis, first as a member of the trumpeter’s trailblazing quintet, and later as a part of Davis’ early fusion masterpieces.
“Wayne Shorter is one of the greatest musicians and composers of our time,” said Don Was, President of Blue Note Records. “At age 80, we witness him at the height of his powers and performing with one of the most incredible bands he’s ever assembled. Although welcoming him back to Blue Note Records after 43 years is a romantic notion, Wayne’s enduring appeal is rooted in his steadfast refusal to trade in such nostalgia. In fact, it is Mr. Shorter’s determination to constantly move forward that makes his new album, Without A Net, such an essential listening experience.”
Reflecting upon his perpetual path of musical discovery, Shorter expounded that “The challenge we as artists face today is to create a ‘singularity’ or an ‘event horizon’ so that as human beings we will break the cycle of ego dominated actions which through repetition keep us bound to stagnation which denies us entrance to the Portal of Life’s Ultimate Adventure!”
Without A Net is a 9-track musical thrill ride that consists of live recordings from the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s European tour in late 2011, the one exception being the 23-minute tone poem “Pegasus” which features the quartet with The Imani Winds recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The album features six new Shorter compositions, as well as new versions of his tunes “Orbits” (from Miles Davis’ Miles Smiles album) and “Plaza Real” (from the Weather Report album Procession). The quartet also reinvents the title song from the 1933 musical film Flying Down To Rio, which film buffs (such as Shorter) know as the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
The track listing for Without A Net is as follows:
1. Orbits (4:49)
2. Starry Night (8:48)
3. S. S. Golden Mean (5:17)
4. Plaza Real (6:56)
5. Myrrh (3:03)
6. Pegasus (23:06)
7. Flying Down to Rio (12:44)
8. Zero Gravity (8:13)
9. UFO (4:12)
Some things I listened to last week, no time for comments.
Bill Laswell & Material with Wayne Shorter – Hallucination Engine (Axiom)
Arcana – Arc of the Testimony (Axiom)
Björk – Debut Live (aka MTV Unplugged) (OLI)
McCoy Tyner – Nights of Ballads & Blues (Impulse)
Joe Henderson – Inner Urge (Blue Note)
Joe Henderson – So Near, So Far (Musings for Miles) (Verve)
Keith Jarrett – Standards Live (ECM)
Ike Quebec – Bossa Nova Soul Samba (Blue Note)
Michael Formanek – Small Places (ECM)
The Who – Tommy (MCA)
Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane – Rough Mix (MCA)
Peter Gabriel – New Blood (RealWorld)
1975, this is a killer album: Kenny Wheeler (flugelhorn), Keith Jarrett (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).
An early 1977 version of the Standards trio, before they became “Jarrett’s band”. I’ve had this album for years, I feel so comfortable with it. Another kick ass platter.
2010 duo with Charlie Haden, this is an intimate set and has really grown on me.
Jarrett on pipe organ. I wrote about this one before. Could we have more albums like this 1976 recording, please?
1992 live trio with the late Paul Motian on drums. All ya gotta do is use a different drummer and everything changes.
Solo piano, I don’t like ’em all, but I do like this one from 1987.
I can’t say his work with Miles Davis tickled my ears, but it could still happen someday.
Yes to the Standards Trio playing standards, I’m working on liking the other albums from that band.
Another in an ongoing series of horn players who double on flute. Today, Yusef Lateef.
From “The Golden Flute” (1966)
Yusef Lateef – Flute, Tenor Saxophone & Oboe
Hugh Lawson – Piano
Herman Wright – Bass
Roy Brooks, Jr. – Drums
Dave Holland – Extensions (ECM)
Dave Holland – Emerald Tears (ECM)
Dave Holland – Seeds of Time (ECM)
Susie Ibarra – Flower After Flower (Tzadik)
Marc Johnson/Eliane Elias – Swept Away (ECM)
Sonny Sharrock – Ask The Ages (Axiom)
Axoim Dub (Axiom)
Steve Lacy with Don Cherry – Evidence (Prestige)
McCoy Tyner – Fly With the Wind (Milestone)
Another in an ongoing series of horn players who double on flute. Today, Julius Hemphill.
Trumpet — Baikida E.J. Carroll
Drums — Philip Wilson
Cello — Abdul Wadud
Alto Saxophone, Flute, Composed By, Producer — Julius Hemphill
Recorded at Archway Studios, St. Louis, MO in February 1972.