2005
Reviews

Wayne Shorter Quartet | Beyond the Sound Barrier

Verve

Why Not? So What?"

How appropriate that Wayne Shorter's new CD starts with a tune from the 1941 film, "Smilin' Through". Shorter loves watching movies and he loves movie music.

As sung by Jeannette McDonald, "Smilin' Through" conveyed the message that no matter how tough life gets, you should smile your way through. As evidenced by the quartet's reading of this tune, with their energetic, colourful statements, and equally colourful responses, we're certain both musicians and listeners are always left smiling. This performance is serious fun.

Beyond the Sound Barrier was recorded live on tour from November 2002 to April 2004, and is a companion to the previous CD, WAYNE SHORTER | footprints live! (Verve 31458 96792) which is from the same tour.

Once again, the Wayne Shorter Quartet — with its charming, deconstructionist ways — has spread out its sound palette to include the wistful "On Wings of Song" (Felix Mendelssohn) and the bursting tune, Shorter's "Joy Rider" — which is just that — a joy, and a seminar on playing music, with Pattitucci's hammered down triplet groove and the creative independence of Perez's piano and Brian Blade's drums a continually engaging listening experience.

"Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean" (sounds like the opening bars of "No More Blues", the bossa nova tune, but in a minor key) is all about soloing; everybody's soloing and nobody's backing up, because the quartet can sing and interact and change parts instantaneously, then a swift piano run introduces Shorter's soprano; then a chord, and the end.

From one compositional climax and dénouement to the next, with the quartet mixing and matching sound passages and adroitly bringing in ever new colours, one feels confident in saying that the Wayne Shorter Quartet is absolutely one of the finest jazz groups today.

Poetry, rich sound colours, dramatic atmospheres, a group compositional mindset, inner monologues, all music, from the Wayne Shorter Quartet.

Another great CD from Wayne Shorter, Danilo Perez, John Pattitucci, and Brian Blade.

The beautiful sound of their instruments. Their fine musicianship. Staunch sorcerers of sound. Their love and empathy.

La musique.

Wayne Shorter — tenor and soprano saxophones
Danilo Perez — piano
John Pattitucci — double bass
Brian Blade — drums
We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Report by David Fujino
• •
for The Live Music Report
davidfujino@thelivemusicreport.com

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