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Night Dreamer (180g) [VINYL] Limited Edition

1 customer review

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The wire is thin and stretched tight between two poles. On one end is everything known – the safe sounds, the expected chords resolving in expected ways. On the far end is something more elusive – the magic realm where jazz becomes what the critic Whitney Balliett once called “the sound of surprise.”

The musician works moment to moment ... Read more in Amazon's Wayne Shorter Store

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Night Dreamer (180g) [VINYL] + Speak No Evil + JuJu
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Product details

  • Vinyl (18 Nov. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Night Dreamer
2. Oriental Folk Song
3. Virgo
4. Black Nile
5. Charcoal Blues
6. Armagaddon

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This excellent, but neglected quintet album by the saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter(b. 1933) was his BLUE NOTE debut as leader recorded in New Jersey on April 29, 1964 with Shorter(tenor sax); Lee Morgan(trumpet); McCoy Tyner(piano); Reggie Workman(bass) & Elvin Jones(drums).
On the seven memorable tracks(including five Shorter originals) the saxophonist displays a definite Coltrane influence emphasised by the choice of rhythm section.
Wayne Shorter was about to join the Miles Davis Quintet and, although he went on to record better albums for BLUE NOTE, 'Night Dreamer' deserves to be heard.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Great lineup and great playing 11 Mar. 2000
By Douglas Gray - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album is Wayne's first in a long series of classic recordings for the Blue Note label. In trying to put this session in perspective with his other mid-sixties recordings as a leader, I find that Wayne has not yet fully developed and presented his compositional skills. While "Night Dreamer" exhibits some fine performances by all, his second Blue Note, "JuJu", combines equally fine performances as well as some of Wayne's most notable compositions. His third Blue Note offering, "Speak No Evil" is very strong compositionally, yet lacks the vigor in the individual performances found here.
Recorded in April, 1964, this session features Lee Morgan (trumpet), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass) and the incomparable Elvin Jones on drums. The rhythm section of McCoy, Reggie and Elvin had worked extensively together in John Coltrane's quartet, and Wayne and Lee as front men for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Besides the long-standing relationships, these five jazz giants recorded many sessions in various combinations throughout the early sixties. That is not to say that the communication skills they must have developed are too obvious in this recording. They don't always seem to weave the same color and texture of fabric as we might expect.
Night Dreamer - A simple, relaxing piece in 3/4 time. Wayne is typically expressive, and Lee is clean and sharp. McCoy's solo searches for but never finds a groove. Wayne takes us out with another equally revealing, gritty improvisation. Elvin provides his typical vigorous and strong presence.
Oriental Folk Song - Nothing Oriental about this tune, a relaxed 4/4 swing number with a simple head. Wayne is short and sweet, but not one of best solos. Lee follows with a very nice solo that works from start to finish. McCoy is a bit weak again. Elvin wraps up with a few short, somewhat reserved solo fills.
Virgo - A gorgeous Wayne ballad. Wayne's sound throughout is rich, eloquent and his notes soulful, yet optimistic. Reggie and McCoy's accompaniment is mature and sensitive, as is Elvin's brush work. A beautiful piece. Lee sits out.
Virgo (alternate take) - Even more passionate than the primary take. I preferred this one. Absolutely wonderful.
Black Nile - Finally, a composition in the more mature and uniquely Wayne style that has earned him the renown as one of great jazz composers of his time. The head features Wayne and Lee harmonizing in a spirited, energetic tempo. Wayne takes honors and digs real deep. Lee follows, and cooks behind some of Elvin's most explosive and inspirational drumming of the session. McCoy follows with one his best solos of the date. Elvin cleans up with a nice solo, then out.
Charcoal Blues - A simple, yet interesting blues head followed by a rich, bluesy Wayne solo that creeps outside at the end, yet it really works, despite the blues changes lurking behind him. McCoy follows suit and pounds out a blues solo in his typical chromatic style, which works equally well. Lee sits out.
Armageddon - Ahhh. Wayne's finest composition of the album - haunting and provocative. Wayne leads off with a great solo, during which the rhythm section works closely with him. Lee's solo is adequate, as is McCoy's.
All-in-all, some very fine playing by some of the great jazzmen of the era. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this album, just a few things missing that we find on the later recordings of most of the players. Nevertheless, whenever you put these five guys together, something great must come of it, and this album is no exception. If you are a Wayne fan, a Blue Note fan, or simply enjoy listening to serious jazz without gimmicks and 1940s/1950s standards, then you'll cherish this album.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Wayne's First, One of His Best 1 Mar. 2005
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wayne Shorter's "Night Dreamer," his first album as a leader for Blue Note, briefly drifted out-of-print on CD over the past year, but now is back in all its remastered glory with this RVG reissue. And it's a good thing too because this is not only one of Wayne's best efforts, but one of Blue Note's all-time Top 50 discs. The tenor-saxophonist is joined on this April 29, 1964 session by Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner (listed amusingly as "Etc" on the cover for contractual reasons), Reggie Workman and Elvin Jones. On "Night Dreamer," Shorter takes the composition and playing talents that he honed with the Jazz Messengers to a new level. (In fact, Miles Davis was impressed enough by Wayne's growing stature to offer him a spot in his second great quintet later that year.) The songs featured here, especially "Black Nile," "Virgo" and the title track are as good as anything Shorter penned, and that's saying something considering how many classic tunes he wrote during the 60s and beyond. But as good as the writing is, the playing is even more remarkable. In my opinion, Wayne has forged a cleaner sound, and a more distinctive yet somewhat ethereal voice since his earlier days with Blakey's group. His musical understanding with his colleagues, particularly frontline partner Lee Morgan, is unparalleled. And speaking of chemistry, the rhythm trio of McCoy, Elvin and Reggie Workman certainly have it after all the time they spent together with John Coltrane. Personally I still find "Speak No Evil" to be Shorter's best BN outing, but "Night Dreamer" is a very close second (as in 2nd place in the 100m dash at the Olympics!). Thanks to the RVG series, those who have previously neglected to get this classic jazz album, no longer have to dream about buying "Night Dreamer."
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Hidden Gem 18 April 2006
By MDC - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is Shorter's first Blue Note album and it is without a doubt a classic. It definitly has a Coltrane influence in its virtuosity. However, you can really see Shorter developing his own voice: one that really takes off on his next series of albums on this same label. Also, unlike Coltrane, he lets another horn compliment and shine, especially on this album. You really cant go wrong with any of the albums that followed, such as "Speak no Evil" or "Ju Ju". However, the reason I would choose this one first is the lineup that accompanies him. Lee Morgan is one of the most underated trumpet players. He and Shorter really hit a stride together. The combination of McCoy Tyner(piano) and Elvin Jones (drums) round out a premier band. It has more of a mellow feel than his next few albums. I would also add that I totally disagree with the assesment in another review that Shorter is "better" than Coltrane. I think such comparisons are silly. Coltrane was going for a totally different feel; more experimental and spirtual, for a lack of better terms. Shorter is seeking more of a mood. Both are valid expressions. Shorter is much more acessible. You will love this album on the first listen. That shouldnt dissuade you that its not a great work, however. It really is great jazz listening. I never grow tired of this album.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Nocturne Romantic 25 Feb. 2008
By Jack Baker - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Night Dreamer is a collection of six Wayne Shorter originals, plus an alternate version of "Virgo". Shorter chose his fellow musicians well for this session, employing Lee Morgan on trumpet, Reggie Workman on bass, Elvin Jones on drums, and McCoy Tyner on piano. These performers all complement the music well, particularly Tyner and Morgan, who play to the mood of the material. Elvin Jones is the picture of restraint here, his solid drumming maintaining the relaxed mood of the album, as well as delivering a great solo near the end of "Charcoal Blues". Wayne Shorter is brilliant throughout, his sax tone rich and his phrasing magnificent. This was Shorter's first release as a leader on Blue Note and it's clear that his songwriting abilities, honed in The Jazz Messengers, were entering a new stage here. Night Dreamer is an apt title for this album, as all six songs have a languor to them, bringing to mind a dream state. The music is intricate, removed from hard bop, but not totally divested of its influence. It's very brave, mature music from an artist about to embark on his own path. From the sensual opening of the title track, to the a cappella saxophone just before the close of "Virgo", and the dark foreboding of "Armageddon" that closes the album, Shorter has crafted a true musical statement, haunting and mysterious.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Freed to Dream His Own Dream 11 Mar. 2009
By Roger Berlind - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While this was Wayne Shorter's first solo album for Blue Note, he had been playing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for 5 years and was already a mature saxophonist and composer. But with this 1964 album, he was free to write music to suite his own taste rather than Blakey's. He was free to dream his own dream. Shorter did this very successfully, emerging as a major jazz composer, a painter of vivid soundscapes.

He was backed up by outstanding musicians. I happen to be a big fan of Lee Morgan and already owned some Morgan CDs that featured Shorter --"Search for the New Land" and "The Gigolo"; I would have been glad to have any additional album featuring them together, but that is especially true when the compositions are so distinctive. Actually, Morgan only plays on "Night Dreamer", "Oriental Folk Song", "Black Nile", and "Armegeddon". Maybe Shorter wanted to prove to Blue Note that he could sustain listeners' interest in a quartet; his next album "JuJu" did in fact feature the same quartet heard here on "Virgo" and "Charcoal Blues" for that entire album.

The album and title track open with a wonderful series of runs on the piano played by McCoy Tyner before launching into the theme. Shorter, Morgan, and Tyner all deliver solos which maintain the dream-like mood which Shorter extends with a second solo before the return of the closing theme statement. Even then, Shorter is not done and spins out one more solo. This tune really sets a high bar for the album, but the remaining tunes meet this challenge.

"Oriental Folk Song" doesn't really sound that oriental to me, but it is a charming, mellow tune featuring more fine solos and some drum breaks. "Virgo" is a lovely ballad full of mystery; one of the most beautiful original jazz melodies I know of. "Black Nile" is a fast, hard bop number. It is followed by "Charcoal Blues" which needs no explanation (except for Morgan's absence). The entire quintet caps off the session with the vibrant "Armegeddon" which Shorter described as the "focal point of the whole album"; despite the title, it is not at all gloomy since Shorter does not view "Armegeddon" as being the final battle of good and evil, but "a period of total enlightenment in which we will discover what we are and why we are here".

This is surely one of the greatest debut albums Blue Note ever released. I think it's just as good as Shorter's "JuJu" and "Speak No Evil" albums that followed it.
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