Electrifying Track: Speak No Evil


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On the day before Christmas in 1964, when tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter recorded his fourth leadership album, Speak No Evil, he had already joined Miles Davis's second great quintet. The song Speak No Evil developed from Shorter's fascination with Buddhism and the concept that every action has a reaction, that every cause has an effect. As Shorter was quoted in Michelle Mercer's Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter, “[Speak No Evil] is about caution, be careful what you say. What comes out of your mouth can cause some horrendous effects or beautiful ones."

The track features Freddie Hubbard (tp), Wayne Shorter (ts), Herbie Hancock (p), Ron Carter (b) and Elvin Jones (d). Here's Speak No Evil, a taut and tidy gateway into Shorter's mystical approach to hard bop in the 1960s and beyond...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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