Wayne Shorter: Without a Net

Album review
Wayne Shorter: Without a Net

Wayne Shorter

Without a Net

Label: Blue Note
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

After 43 years, the enigmatic saxophonist-composer returns to the label where he recorded a string of classic albums during the 1960s. Now 80, Shorter has led the same band (pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade) over the past 12 years. The remarkable, near-telepathic chemistry they forged over that time is readily apparent on this aptly-named live recording culled from a European tour in late 2011. Two new Shorter compositions, the gentle rubato “Starry Night” and the atmospheric “Myrrh,” build to ecstatic crescendos led by Shorter’s wailing soprano sax, while the free-jazz “UFO” features him on tenor. “Orbits” is far more impressionistic and freewheeling than the hard-driving rendition that appeared on Miles Davis’ 1967 album, Miles Smiles. The like-minded musicians also turn in an open-ended 13-minute extrapolation on the title song from Flying Down To Rio, the 1933 musical film which first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers onscreen. “Pegasus,” an ambitious 23-minute suite, is augmented by the Imani Winds quintet; it leaps from Pierre Boulez-style abstraction to Aaron Copland-like passages and has Shorter coyly quoting from Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo” along the away. In all, an incredible cornucopia of music from a living legend.

More Info

  • primary artist, Wayne Shorter
  • CD

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