Friday, July 29, 2016

Wayne Shorter - The Blue Note Albums (Part. I)

A brilliant instrumentalist at the forefront of the generation of tenor saxophone modernists that emerged after John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter is also the composer of "Speak No Evil," "Infant Eyes," "Witch Hunt," "Penelope," "Adams Apple," "Footprints" and other sophisticated songs that have become jazz standards. The classic albums Ju Ju, Speak No Evil, The Soothsayer, Etcetera, Schizophrenia and Adams Apple are among the memorable titles he released as a leader on Blue Note from 1964-70 and they trace his transformation from a driving hard bopper to a master of modal jazz. Shorter made his Blue Note debut with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers on Africaine and appears on several other of the drummer's recordings including The Jazz Corner of the World, Mosaic, Buhaina's Delight and Free For All. He also played on Blue Note albums by Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Lou Donaldson, McCoy Tyner and Grachan Moncur III.

Source : http://www.hdtracks.com/music/artist/view/id/4601/#

By the time he made this recording, a few short months before he was to join Miles Davis' groundbreaking second quintet, saxophonist Wayne Shorter had already earned a reputation as a player combining heady intellectualism with a more visceral approach as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He'd also released four records for the Vee-Jay label that demonstrated how, while he'd learned a great deal with Blakey, he was developing his own voice, albeit still in the hard bop mode of his bandleader.
But by the time Shorter recorded Night Dreamer, his first date for Blue Note, he'd gone through something of a change. With compositions that were sparer, and an equally economical playing style in direct contrast to John Coltrane's, Night Dreamer signalled a change without completely neglecting his hard bop roots. Despite a more cerebral method, Night Dreamer still swings hard, something that would hardly be a constant when he joined up with Miles a few months later.
But, then again, how could any recording with the rhythm section of pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Elvin Jones not swing ? It's of particular note that the three had backed Coltrane as a unit until Workman was permanently replaced by Jimmy Garrison some time in '61. Coltrane would eventually push things so far out that Jones and Tyner would ultimately resign in '65, and it's clear by their performance on Night Dreamer that neither would have been comfortable in the freer style that Coltrane was moving towards.
Meanwhile, Night Dreamer, which also features Blakey band mate Lee Morgan on trumpet, gives Shorter the opportunity to shift his focus away from the more straightforward hard bop of his early recordings, and towards a more open post bop sensibility. While harmonically challenging — as most of Shorter's compositions were and still are to this day — these six Shorter compositions adhered more rigidly to form than either his future work with Miles or his Blue Note recordings from later in the decade.
And so, in a way, Night Dreamer is a transitional record, but a classic one nonetheless. While Shorter remained within more traditional boundaries, his sparer style, with every note considered and yet sounding unconsidered, was beginning to emerge. And while he would use the same rhythm section on the followup Ju-Ju, recorded four months later, by the end of '64 he would be using Miles bandmates pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Ron Carter for Night Dreamer and, while continuing his approach towards even richer harmonic depth, would also begin a shift towards greater abstraction.
As always, this Rudy van Gelder remaster edition brings greater life to the album, and it shows just how beautifully recorded it was in the first place, now that its nuances are more evident. While replacing one's entire collection with remasters is of questionable worth, these RVG Editions certainly make a strong case for doing so with one's Blue Note catalogue.
John Kelman

Source : https://www.allaboutjazz.com/night-dreamer-wayne-shorter-blue-note-records-review-by-john-kelman.php

Wayne Shorter
The Blue Note Albums

Tracks

Cd. 1

Night Dreamer

1 Night Dreamer  7:15
2 Oriental Folk Song  6:50
3 Virgo  7:07
4 Black Nile  6:25
5 Charcoal Blues  6:50
6 Armageddon  6:20
7 Virgo [alt. take]  7:00

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter

*

Personnel
Lee Morgan - tp
Wayne Shorter - ts
McCoy Tyner - p
Reggie Workman - b
Elvin Jones - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; April 29, 1964

*

Fulfilling the potential promised on his Blue Note debut, Night Dreamer, Wayne Shorter's JuJu was the first great showcase for both his performance and compositional gifts. Early in his career as a leader, Shorter was criticized as a mere acolyte of John Coltrane, and his use of Coltrane's rhythm section on his first two Blue Note albums only bolstered that criticism. The truth is, though, that Elvin Jones, Reggie Workman, and McCoy Tyner were the perfect musicians to back Shorter. Jones' playing at the time was almost otherworldly. He seemed to channel the music through him when improvising and emit the perfect structure to hold it together. Workman too seemed to almost instinctively understand how to embellish Shorter's compositions. McCoy Tyner's role as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time was played here as well, and his light touch and beautiful, joyful improvisations would make him a much better match for Shorter than Herbie Hancock would later prove to be. What really shines on JuJu is the songwriting. From the African-influenced title track (with its short, hypnotic, repetitive phrases) to the mesmerizing interplay between Tyner and Shorter on "Mahjong," the album (which is all originals) blooms with ideas, pulling in a world of influences and releasing them again as a series of stunning, complete visions.
Stacia Proefrock

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/juju-mw0000243669


Cd. 2

Juju

1 Juju  8:28
2 Deluge  6:49
3 House of Jade  6:50
4 Mahjong  7:40
5 Yes or No  6:35
6 Twelve More Bars to Go  5:27
7 Juju [alt. take]  7:50
8 House of Jade [alt. take]  6:39

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter

*


Personnel
Wayne Shorter - ts
McCoy Tyner - p
Reggie Workman - b
Elvin Jones - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; August 3, 1964

*

On his third date for Blue Note within a year, Wayne Shorter changed the bands that played on both Night Dreamer and Juju and came up with not only another winner, but also managed to give critics and jazz fans a different look at him as a saxophonist. Because of his previous associations with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Reggie Workman on those recordings, Shorter had been unfairly branded with the "just-another-Coltrane-disciple" tag, despite his highly original and unusual compositions. Here, with only Jones remaining and his bandmates from the Miles Davis Quintet, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter on board (with Freddie Hubbard filling out the horn section), Shorter at last came into his own and caused a major reappraisal of his earlier work. The odd harmonic frameworks used to erect "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum," with its balladic structure augmented with a bluesy regimen of hard bop and open-toned modalism, create the illusion of a much larger band managing all that timbral space. Likewise on the title track, with its post-bop-oriented melodic line strewn across a wide chromatic palette of minors and Hancock's piano pushing through a contrapuntal set of semi-quavers, the avant-garde meets the hard bop of the '50s head on and everybody wins. The loping lyric of the horns and Hancock's vamping in the middle section during Shorter's solo reveals a broad sense of humor in the saxophonist's linguistics and a deep, more regimented sense of time and thematic coloration. The set ends with the beautiful "Wild Flower," a lilting ballad with angular accents by Hancock who takes the lyric and inverts it, finding a chromatic counterpoint that segues into the front line instead of playing in opposition. The swing is gentle but pronounced and full of Shorter's singular lyricism as a saxophonist as well as a composer. [The CD reissue adds a fine alternate take of "Dance Cadaverous."]
Thom Jurek

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/speak-no-evil-mw0000247834


Cd. 3

Speak No Evil

1 Witch Hunt  8:11
2 Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum  5:54
3 Dance Cadaverous  6:45
4 Speak No Evil  8:23
5 Infant Eyes  6:54
6 Wild Flower  6:06
7 Dance Cadaverous [alt. take]  6:35

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter

*

Personnel
Wayne Shorter - ts
Freddie Hubbard - tp
Herbie Hancock - p
Ron Carter - b
Elvin Jones - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; December 24, 1964

*

Part of an explosion of solo albums Wayne Shorter recorded just after he joined Miles Davis' band, The Soothsayer wasn't released until the late '70s. Listening to the album, it is hard to believe because it ranks with the best of his works from this incredibly fertile period. Shorter has been called Davis' "idea man," and the creativity and thoughtfulness that earned him that moniker are quite evident here. The album's five originals and one arrangement (of Sibelius' Valse Triste) show a multi-layered complexity that seems effortless even as it weaves together contributions from a very strong, stylistic sextet. Of particular interest is the interplay of the three horn players, including altoist James Spaulding and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. As a performer, Shorter also shows a lot of strength, with fluid, at times subtly evocative, solos that bloom with energy without ever seeming frantic or harsh. The title track shows Shorter at his most forceful and is one of the most passionate moments on the album, but even here, beauty seems to come first, while his low-key standard "Lady Day" embodies grace and calmness in every moment.
Stacia Proefrock

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-soothsayer-mw0000204482


Cd. 4

The Soothsayer

1 Lost  7:13
2 Angola  4:48
3 The Big Push  8:19
4 The Soothsayer  9:36
5 Lady Day  5:31
6 Valse triste  7:44
7 Angola [alt. take]  6:38

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter,
except "Valse triste" by Jean Sibelius (arr. by Wayne Shorter)

*

Personnel
Freddie Hubbard - tp
James Spaulding - as
Wayne Shorter - ts
McCoy Tyner - p
Ron Carter - b
Tony Williams - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; March 4, 1965

*

Recorded in 1965 but not released until 1980, Et Cetera holds its own against the flurry of albums Wayne Shorter released during the mid-'60s, a time when he was at the peak of his powers. It is hard to imagine why Blue Note might have chosen to shelve the album, as it shows Shorter in a very favorable light with an incredibly responsive rhythm section performing four of his originals and a cover of Gil Evans' "Barracudas." The low-key nature of the album as a whole, especially the title track, might have contributed to Blue Note's lack of attention, but there are definitely gems here, especially the closing track, "Indian Song." At times the rest of the album seems like a warm-up for that amazing tune, where Shorter swirls around in a hypnotizing dance with Herbie Hancock's piano, grounded by the nocturnal bass of Cecil McBee and the airy structure of Joe Chambers' drumming. The short, repetitive themes and passionate, soulful playing echo John Coltrane, but this quartet has its own flavor, and the perfect, intricate web they weave here helps pull the whole session up to a higher level.
Stacia Proefrock

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/et-cetera-mw0000177021


Cd. 5

Etcetera

1 Etcetera  6:17
2 Penelope  6:44
3 Toy Tune  7:24
4 Barracudas (General Assembly)  11:06
5 Indian Song  11:37

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter,
except "Barracudas" by Gil Evans

*

Personnel
Wayne Shorter - ts
Herbie Hancock - p
Cecil McBee - b
Joe Chambers - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; June 14, 1965

*

With such titles as "The All Seeing Eye," "Genesis," "Chaos," "Face of the Deep," and "Mephistopheles," it is clear from the start that the music on this LP is not basic bop and blues. Wayne Shorter (who composed four of the five originals) picked an all-star cast (trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, altoist James Spaulding, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Joe Chambers, along with brother Alan Shorter on flügelhorn for the final song) to perform and interpret the dramatic selections, and their brand of controlled freedom has plenty of subtle surprises. This is stimulating music that still sounds fresh.
Scott Yanow

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-all-seeing-eye-mw0000097755


Cd. 6

The All Seeing Eye

1 The All Seeing Eye  10:31
2 Genesis  11:42
3 Chaos  6:54
4 Face to the Deep  5:28
5 Mephistopheles  9:40

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter,
except "Mephistopheles" by Alan Shorter

*

Personnel
Freddie Hubbard - tp
Alan Shorter - flghrn [# 5]
Grachan Moncur III - tb
James Spaulding - as
Wayne Shorter - ts
Herbie Hancock - p
Ron Carter - b
Joe Chambers - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; October 15, 1965

*

With the possible exception of its song, "Footprints," which would become a jazz standard, Adam's Apple received quite a bit less attention upon its release than some of the preceding albums in Wayne Shorter's catalog. That is a shame because it really does rank with the best of his output from this incredibly fertile period. From the first moments when Shorter's sax soars out in the eponymous opening track, with its warmth and roundness and power, it is hard not to like this album. It might not be turning as sharp of a corner stylistically as some of his earlier works, like Speak No Evil, but its impact is only dulled by the fact that Shorter has already arrived at the peak of his powers. Taken in isolation, this is one of the great works of mid-'60s jazz, but when Shorter has already achieved a unique performance style, compositional excellence, and a perfectly balanced relationship with his sidemen, it is hard to be impressed by the fact that he manages to continue to do these things album after album. But Shorter does shine here, while allowing strong players like Herbie Hancock to also have their place in the sun. Especially hypnotic are two very different songs, the ballad "Teru" and Shorter's tribute to John Coltrane, "Chief Crazy Horse," both of which also allow Hancock a chance to show what he could do.
Stacia Proefrock

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/adams-apple-mw0000192508


Cd. 6

Adam's Apple

1 Adam's Apple  6:40
2 502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')  6:33
3 El Gaucho  6:29
4 Footprints  7:28
5 Teru  6:11
6 Chief Crazy Horse  7:34
7 The Collector  6:55

All Compositions by Wayne Shorter,
except "502 Blues" by Jimmy Rowles
and "The Collector" by Herbie Hancock

*

Personnel
Wayne Shorter - ts
Herbie Hancock - p
Reggie Workman - b
Joe Chambers - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; February 2 [# 5] & February 24 [all others], 1966

26 comments:

Melanchthon said...

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matt said...

!!!

ProfessorCalculus said...

Yummiiiiiiiiiiii. Thanks Mel. Excellent post and never ending generosity.

Mikel Hal said...

Moltes
Gracies

Gaetano Bevilacqua said...

Thanx

Fred Archtop said...

Cher Mel. C'est juste trop beau pour être vrai...Merci pour ces bijoux.

nlrp said...

merci.

Anonymous said...

ThankYouThankYouThankYou!!!

deGallo said...

Marvelous thank you!

migue said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!

Blue Eyes said...

Woow! fantastic post, a must have! thank you so much Mel!

klf said...

Thank you so much for this set and for ... the Scarlatti Naxos series and all the new and/or obscure (to me) jazz guitar from europe & the usa ... thanks for your wonderful blog.

Dante A. said...

Thanks a lot for the Giant Work

Benjamin Riley said...

Mel--you are the best. Thank you so much. Benjamin.

Ina said...

Another heartfelt thank you for this wonderful post!

kike said...

Thanks Mel, terrific post. I love Wayne's Sound. Keep up the great job here.

francisco santos said...

BIG THX!...

jerry g said...

-what a post!

Funky Trev said...

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sep troelstra said...

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Tom+Jerry said...

Merci Mel!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Hi,
Oh my God!!
Thank you very very much Mel
Pedro

Axel.T. said...

Great post. Thank you for this great jazz from Wayne Shorter.

Luis said...

Thank you very much. Waiting for part II...

brian said...

i know that i am pushy... but is there some booklet... hard to scan!?

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you, Mel! I look forward to part 2.