6

David Weiss: Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
David Weiss: Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter A solid entry in the ongoing resurgence of focus on Wayne Shorter's music, David Weiss' Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter is immediately notable for the all-star cast that comprises the 12-piece ensemble and the fact that it was recorded live, enabling the group to interact freely and deliver a potent mix of precision and vibrant energy.

Timed to coincide with Shorter's 80th birthday, the album samples music from the full range of Shorter's career, providing an overview of the legendary composers many contributions. Part homage and part experiment, the album's six selections provide a well-executed tour covering nearly 50 years of musical invention. Now, some may ask if it's necessary for anyone other than Shorter himself to be the tour guide, but the bottom line is Weiss delivers music bristling with big-band vitality. And in time-honored jazz tradition, the band's collective efforts transform the base material with the voice and vision of the individual players while honoring the original compositions' spirit. Though at times Weiss' restructuring seems to sacrifice some of Shorter's more esoteric, stratospheric departures, the end result is nonetheless engaging and enjoyable.

Weiss' arrangements also provide a fertile platform for the band members to show their chops. Jeremy Pelt and Diego Urcola's trumpets dance with bright, rhythmic flare; Marcus Strickland and Ravi Coltrane work in tandem to shape penetrating sax solos; Norbert Stachel deploys the baritone saxophone and bass clarinet to great atmospheric effect, blending with Tim Green's alto and Joe Fiedler and Steve Davis' trombones to provide rich textures; Dwayne Burno and E.J. Strickland keep the rhythms tight and cooking; while Geri Allen infuses the entirety with her distinctive voice on piano.

While all six of the album's tunes are expertly delivered, it is interesting that the above elements come together most potently on the album's last piece "Prometheus Unbound," one of Shorter's most recent compositions. Here, the band reaches a peak of interplay and each soloist seems pushed by the penetrating grooves to further heights, making for a finale that fittingly underscores Shorter's past prominence, contemporary relevance, and heralds his inevitable future as a continual point of reference.

Track Listing: Nellie Bly; Fall; Mr. Jin; The Turning Gate; Eva; Prometheus Unbound

Personnel: David Weiss: Conductor & Trumpet; Tim Green: Alto Sax; Marcus Strickland: Tenor & Soprano Sax; Ravi Coltrane: Tenor Sax; Norbert Stachel: Baritone Sax & Bass Clarinet; Diego Urcola: Trumpet; Jeremy Pelt: Trumpet; Joe Fiedler: Trombone; Steve Davis: Trombone; Geri Allen: - Piano; Dwayne Burno: - Bass; E.J. Strickland: Drums

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Motema Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Twin" CD/LP/Track Review Twin
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Absurdist Theater" CD/LP/Track Review Absurdist Theater
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!