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Wayne Shorter Without a Net (2013)


Wayne Shorter — Without a Net
≡  Jazz critic Ben Ratliff of the New York Times wrote that Shorter is "generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer." Many of Shorter's compositions have become jazz standards. His output has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise and various commendations, including multiple Grammy Awards.
Born: August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Location: Miami, Florida, U.S.
Album release: February 5, 2013
Record Label: Blue Note / EMI Catalogue
Duration:     77:22
Notable instruments: Tenor and soprano saxophones
1  Orbits (Wayne Shorter)  4:50  
2  Starry Night (Wayne Shorter)  8:49  
3  S.S. Golden Mean (Wayne Shorter)  5:18  
4  Plaza Real (Wayne Shorter)  6:59  
5  Myrrh (Wayne Shorter)  3:05  
6  Pegasus (Wayne Shorter)  23:08  
7  Flying Down to Rio (Edward Eliscu / Gus Kahn / Vincent Youmans  Wayne Shorter)  12:47  
8  Zero Gravity to the 10th Power (Brian Blade / John Patitucci / Danilo Pérez / Wayne Shorter)  8:13  
9  (The Notes) Unidentified Flying Objects  (Brian Blade / John Patitucci / Danilo Pérez / Wayne Shorter)   4:13 
≡  Mariam Adam  Clarinet
≡  Robert Ascroft  Photography
≡  Brian Blade  Composer, Drums, Featured Artist
≡  Tara Leigh Chiari  Marketing
≡  Jeff Ciampa  Mixing Assistant
≡  Valerie Coleman  Flute
≡  Steve Cook  A&R
≡  Edward Eliscu  Composer
≡  Monica Ellis  Bassoon
≡  Gabriel Fonseca  Assistant Engineer
≡  Rob Griffin  Engineer, Mixing
≡  Imani Winds  Featured Artist
≡  Gordon H. Jee  Creative Director, Design
≡  Gus Kahn  Composer
≡  Tom Korkidis  Production Coordination
≡  John Patitucci  Bass, Composer, Featured Artist
≡  Danilo Pérez  Composer, Featured Artist, Piano
≡  Jeff Scott  French Horn
≡  Wayne Shorter  Composer, Cover Illustration, Producer, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
≡  Scott Southard  Executive Producer
≡  Toyin Spellman-Diaz  Oboe
≡  Don Was  A&R
≡  Mark Wilder  Mastering
≡  Vincent Youmans  Composer    /// It's a big deal whenever the sax titan who wrote for Miles and Blakey plays some new songs and old classics with a great band. So, how good is this outing? As an acoustic cut, "Plaza Real" finds a power beyond Weather Report's fusion approach, while "Orbits" feels graver than the take on Miles Smiles. The new stuff is deep, too: "Myrrh" leaves a haunting burn, and "S.S. Golden Mean" quotes Dizzy's "Manteca" before finding its own groove. Yet the jaw-dropper is "Pegasus," an extended opus for jazz group plus wind quintet that reveals Shorter's undiminished compositional and instrumental genius.
Seth Colter Walls

  © Randee St.Nichols
Review by Thom Jurek
≡  Without a Net is Wayne Shorter's first Blue Note recording date since August 26, 1970, when he recorded Moto Grosso Feio and Odyssey of Iska. That's nearly 43 years. Shorter has pursued many paths since then, as a member of Weather Report, and as a bandleader. This quartet was assembled for a 2001 European tour and has been playing together ever since. It shows. The interplay Shorter shares with pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Pattitucci, and drummer Brian Blade is not merely intuitive, it is seamlessly empathic. All but one of these tunes were recorded during the group's 2011 tour. The lone exception is "Pegasus," recorded with the Imani Winds at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There are six new tunes here; the quartet is credited with two of them. Shorter also revises some others, including set opener "Orbits" (the original was on Miles Davis' Miles Smiles) and "Plaza Real" (from Weather Report's Procession album). The only outlier, "Flying Down to Rio," is a version of the title tune from a 1933 film. Fireworks from this band can be heard everywhere. But the group aesthetic is especially noticeable in the penetrating romanticism of "Starry Night," where what appears restrained -- at least initially -- is actually quite exploratory and forceful. It's also apparent in the slow deliberation at play in the brooding "Myrrh." "Plaza Real" is a different animal here. Shorter's soprano soars and swoops through the melody, extending it at each turn as Pérez offers bright, pulsing chords to highlight the harmonic richness on display. Blade digs deep into his tom-toms, and finds an alternate polyrhythmic route that underscores the elegance and momentum in Shorter's lyric invention. The album's centerpiece is the 23-minute "Pegasus," which expands the band into a nonet. It is a tone poem that commences very slowly and deliberately. But its form gradually opens to allow for great expressions of individual and group freedom. Shorter's athletic soprano solo is breathtaking. The arrangement on "Flying Down to Rio" turns its catchy yet off-kilter melody into a group dialogue centered around a swirling series of complex harmonic statements. Pattitucci introduces "Zero Gravity to the 10th Power" with a funky vamp before layers of melody, harmonic extrapolation, and rhythmic interplay are added. By the time Shorter takes his tenor solo, we've heard everything from Latin grooves to modal assertions to classical motifs and some near explosions from Blade. While any new album from Shorter is an event at this juncture (he's nearly 80 yet in peak form here as composer and soloist), Without a Net is special even among the recordings made by this outstanding group.  © Francis Wolff
Personal life:
≡  Shorter met Teruka (Irene) Nakagami in 1961. They were later married and had a daughter, Miyako. Some of his compositions are copyrighted as "Miyako Music". Shorter dedicated some pieces to his daughter: "Miyako" and "Infant Eyes". The couple separated in 1964.
≡  Shorter met Ana Maria in 1964 and they were married in 1970. In 1986, their daughter Iska died of a grand mal seizure at age 14. Ana Maria and the couple's niece Dalila were both killed on July 17, 1996, on TWA Flight 800, while en route to see him in Italy. Dalila was the daughter of Ana Maria Shorter's sister and her husband, jazz vocalist Jon Lucien. In 1999, Shorter married Carolina Dos Santos, a close friend of Ana Maria. He is a Nichiren Buddhist and a member of Sōka Gakkai.
≡  Down Beat Poll Winner New Star Saxophonist (1962)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance for Weather Report's 8:30 (1979)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for Dexter Gordon's Call Sheet Blues (1987)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for A Tribute to Miles (1994)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for High Life (1996)
≡  Miles Davis Award Wayne Shorter was granted the Miles Davis Award by the Montreal International Jazz Festival. (1996)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for Aung San Suu Kyi (1997)
NEA Jazz Masters (1998)
≡  Honorary Doctorate of Music (1999; Berklee College of Music)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for In Walked Wayne (1999)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for Sacajawea (2003)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Alegría (2003)
≡  Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Beyond The Sound Barrier (2005)
≡  Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award Small Ensemble Group of the Year to Wayne Shorter Quartet (2006)

 © Convocation Hall, Toronto, Nov. 27, 1977/Author: Jean-Luc Ourlin   /// Other pictures by Svend Withfelt: http://photos.allaboutjazz.com/gallery_image.php?id=98596   /// Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/wayneshortermusic?fref=ts /// Also: http://www.zeit.de/2009/39/KS-Wayne-Shorter

   © Thomas Dorn

Wayne Shorter Without a Net (2013)