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View Diary: Black Kos, Week In Review (129 comments)

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  •  Wayne Shorter! (13+ / 0-)
    Enter Wayne Shorter, a saxophonist and composer for a couple of Miles Davis’ greatest bands and one-time member of Weather Report who has a new album out on Blue Note records this week. Titled Without A Net, most of its songs rely on the excellent younger musicians who have made up Shorter’s working quartet of the last decade: John Patitucci on bass, Danilo Perez on piano, and Brian Blade on the drums. They are one of the best bands in jazz today, as eight of the nine tracks on the new album demonstrate. Their patient approach to group improvisation and their willingness to take the long way around to a composed theme flirts with being “meandering,” in a pejorative sense—and yet their interplay feels mysteriously tight. It’s a high-wire act that sometimes fails during stretches of a live show. But since Without a Net was culled from several concert recordings made in 2011, the album moves from strength to strength; it’s a highlight reel of “they did what now?” successes.

    But on one key track, the quartet behind Shorter’s late-career renaissance takes a backseat to—or more precisely, it shares a seat with—a classical quintet. “Pegasus” is a 23-minute tone poem that is led for extended stretches by the Imani Winds ensemble, which commissioned classical pieces from Shorter before this collaboration. Shorter’s long-serving pianist kicks things off, but soon the juiciest instrumental writing is for the wind quintet. At the next pivot point, Blade’s drums kick in, announcing that the jazz quartet has rejoined the proceedings. The Imani Winds do not retreat; neither the quartet nor the classical ensemble is struggling for pure dominance or the need to stay relevant. It’s not solely a “jazz” piece or a “classical” one, but it’s one of my favorite tracks in either genre this year.

    Got to get that new album!

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:48:30 PM PST

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