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BRILLIANCE & VIRTUOSITY: WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET RECORDED LIVE IN EUROPE & THE USA,
on 5 February 2013
5 BRILLIANT Stars! Wayne Shorter's first Blue Note recording in decades is "Without A Net", capturing one of the most influential and riveting groups on the jazz scene in recent years, recorded live mostly on tour in Europe and one mega-track with guests in Los Angeles. On the CD, this all-star group excels at the art of spontaneous composition and exciting interplay and improvisation. The famed composer, tenor and soprano sax giant's all star group consists of the stylings of Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, Brian Blade on drums. The 'best of the best' begins with the classic "Orbits" from Wayne's halcyon days with Miles Davis beginning with Perez' bottom bass notes contrasting Wayne's soprano sax, and the edgy, soaring beauty of "Plaza Real" from his Weather Report days. Other outstanding performances include the awesome "Zero Gravity to the 10th Power", "S.S. Golden Mean" with Shorter quoting directly from "Manteca" over an insistent vamp, and perhaps best of all, the 23 minute wonderfully-arranged "Pegasus" with The IMani Winds as an integral part of the Los Angeles proceedings, plus an out-of-this-world "Flying Down to Rio", with heroic Perez pianism, from the European tour is flat out amazing. At age 79, Wayne Shorter is at the height of his musical powers and still pushing the envelope 2 decades into the 21st Century with this exceptional group here playing classics and 6 new compositions and it gets My Highest Recommendation. "I dare you", indeed! Five EXCELLENT Stars.
(9 tracks; 77 minutes:27 seconds. Based strongly on this recording and live performances, seven months after this review, Wayne Shorter and group won top awards in 2013 from the DownBeat International Jazz Critics Poll: Jazz Artist, Soprano Sax, Jazz Group, and Jazz Album.)