Wayne Shorter: Alegria (2003)
This degree of communication and commitment is evident on all three tracks that feature last year's Footprints Live! group. On "She Moves Through the Fair," Shorter deftly switches from sweet soprano to tenor and back, while Brian Blade's impressionistic cymbals splash underneath, like water being thrown from a pail and landing on a plate glass window. "Capricorn II" is a showcase for tenor and piano where both Shorter and Perez solo with bluesy mystery.
The other tracks on Alegría, Shorter's first all-acoustic studio recording since 1967, augment the quartet with brass, winds, strings, and Latin percussion. While Perez and Blade are not on every track, John Patitucci's bass is, bowed elegantly in a duet with cello on a Brazilian version of Bach, pliant and chunky with Alex Acuña and Terri Lyne Carrington's percussion on "Angola" (from Shorter's Miles Davis years). On "Orbits," first heard during the Davis period, woodwinds embellish Shorter's dirty, strangulated tenor sound on top of Patitucci's muscular foundation. It's a rich contrast.
Alegría is jazz music of the highest pedigree. It demonstrates the full range of Wayne Shorter's musical imagination and intelligence, challenging the conventions of category. At turns orchestral, classical, latinized and traditional, the work rewards repeated listening: for its brilliant arrangements, extraordinary rhythms, and wondrous individual musicianship. In Wayne Shorter, a giant walks among us.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz - New York .
Track Listing: 1. Sacajawea (Shorter) - 7:40 2. Serenata (Anderson) - 6:09 3. Vendiendo Alger
Personnel: Terri Lyne Carrington - Drums John Patitucci - Bass Wayne Shorter - Arranger, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor) Lew Soloff - Trumpet Danilo Perez - Piano Alejandro "Alex" Acu
Record Label: Verve Music Group
Style: Modern Jazz