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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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 /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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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. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released September 14, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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For decades, composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter has led one of the more impressive quartets in jazz. With pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade, the 85-year-old saxophonist has explored the connections between chamber music and jazz. This band rehearses on-stage, creating innovative architectures via in-the-moment dialogue and improvising with unbridled freedom that never gives way to excess. Emanon is their first recording in five years and conceptual in nature. It comprises a four-part suite in a studio date from 2013 with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, and two 2016 live discs of the quartet playing the Emanon material with other tunes. It's packaged in an oversize hardbound book that contains a 36-page graphic novel that Shorter co-wrote with Monica Sly and illustrator Randy DeBurke. It follows the exploits of its "rogue philosopher"/warrior/protagonist namesake ("no name" spelled backwards, from a Dizzy Gillespie tune). He fights bad guys in the multiverse, a concept that shares principles with the Buddhist notion of emptiness, allowing for an infinite number of simultaneously existing universes that Emanon travels effortlessly between. Disc one begins with piano and soprano sax probing the suggestion of melody, but really it's the pianist offering Shorter a chance for dialogic thought. Orchestral brass, strings, and the rhythm section enter minutes later and create melody from rhythm and vice-versa. The full orchestra's colorful voicings introduce "Prometheus Unbound" with a majestic grandeur balanced by the quartet's subtler interventions. "Lotus" commences as a full-on orchestral thematic statement answered by a recurrent three-note piano ostinato that's countered by free blowing from Perez and Shorter. They are barely held in check by the fluid pulse from Blade and Patitucci. The chamber group's bold yet lush restatement later in the piece frames the quartet's interrogatory investigation of blues. "The Three Marias," whose origins date back to 1985's Atlantis, is rendered completely anew with Bernstein-esque orchestral flourishes and a sweeping theme. Shorter plays soprano and tenor with equal vigor. The quartet emerges to take over with speculative and assertive conversation until the last third, where the orchestra returns with tempi, texture, and dynamic changes ushering in a sweeping conclusion. The two live discs begin with a radically revisioned 27-minute version of "The Three Marias," where the group's close listening and instinctive risk-taking chart the unknown amid post-bop, modal jazz, and free improv. The medley of "Lost" and "Orbits" is edgier, traversing out jazz one moment and swinging grooves the next as Perez provides a wide palette for his bandmates to color. The final disc opens and closes with kaleidoscopic quartet versions of "Lotus" and "Prometheus Unbound," with stops at the traditional "She Moves Through the Fair" (unrecognizable from their 2003 version) and a short, blistering "Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean" that goes from 0-60 instantly in a bluesy workout led by Shorter's soprano, followed by Perez's Latin montunos and vamps given a heavy bottom by the rhythm section. While Emanon's suite may take some getting used to, it is a profoundly imaginative work; the quartet concert offers a killer portrait a group whose M.O. is pushing at the margins until they give way to something altogether new. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1975 | Columbia - Legacy