206

Wayne Shorter: Alegria

Farrell Lowe By

Sign in to view read count
Wayne Shorter: Alegria It is an utter joy to witness the profound evolution of a genius. With the release of Alegria, Wayne Shorter continues to widen and refine his unique musical vision—and share it with the world. From the first few notes of the opening song, "Sacajawea," it becomes immediately evident that we're being invited into a lyrical sonic world that is beyond common jazz metaphor. This music is stripped of all superfluity and becomes a singular document—a meeting of heavy spirits.

The music on Alegria feels "lived in" and this aura pervades every piece on the recording, even the sessions with musicians outside of the quartet orbit and the overdubbed sections. The 'lived in' quality comes from Shorter himself; like his former employer Miles Davis, there is as much music in what he chooses not to play as what he does voice with his horn. His tremendous presence with each note and every gesture again recalls Miles Davis, inspiring those around him to rise to a higher level of understanding of the music they are asked to interpret.

There's an old photograph of Cecil Taylor sitting at the piano playing from a score composed of the singular image of a dancer in motion, with the word "presence" printed in bold black letters along the right side. Alegria reminds me of that photograph, but the music presented on this album shimmers with a different sort of intensity than the one conjured by Mr. Taylor. Shorter approaches "presence" more from a quiet Zen master's point of reference—akin to witnessing the subtle unfolding of a spring flower, or the gentle undulations of a mountain stream hung with teeming green plants. It is a powerful music filled with beauty and quiet fire.

Another fascinating aspect of this recording is the contrast in approach between pianists Danilo Perez and Brad Mehldau, as well as the drumming of Brian Blade and Terri Lyne Carrington. Shorter seems to be interested in the differences between these players, and I find it revealing that he chose to record with two different harmonic and rhythmic points of view. He responds to each individual in a subtle and rich manner—Mehldau takes a tune in a direction not chosen by Perez, and vice-versa. Carrington approaches the cymbals in a very different way than Blade, making for a deeper performance of the material as individual musicians.

In the end, Alegria is filled with music of individual presence, subtlety, sophistication, and a quiet, beautiful bravery that is quite admirable.

Visit Verve at: www.ververecords.com


Track Listing: Sacajawea; Serenata; Veniendo Alegria; Bachianas Brasileiras No.5; Angola; Interlude; She Moves Through the Fair; Orbits; 12th Century Carol; Capricorn II

Personnel: Wayne Shorter-tenor and soprano saxophones; Danilo Perez-piano; Brad Mehldau-piano; John Patitucci-bass; Brian Blade-drums; Terri Lyne Carrington-drums; Alex Acuna-percussion; Lew Soloff, Chris Gekker, Jeremy Pelt-trumpets; Jim Pugh, Steve davis, Bruce Eidem, Papo Vasquez, Michael Boschen-trombones; Chris Potter-bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Charles Curtis-solo cello; Paul Dunkel-flute; Steven Taylor-oboe; Allen Blustine-clarinet, bass clarinet; Frank Morelli-bassoon; John Clark, Stewart Rose-horns; Marcus Rojas-tuba; David Garrett, Barry Gold, Gloria Lum, Daniel Rothmuller, Brent Samuel, Cecilia Tsan-cello

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Five" CD/LP/Track Review Five
by John Sharpe
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!