537

Wayne Shorter: The Soothsayer

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Wayne Shorter: The Soothsayer Wayne Shorter was setting the jazz world on fire at the time of this 1965 Blue Note session, now available as part of the Rudy van Gelder remaster series. The tenor saxophonist had just joined Miles Davis' quintet, with whom he'd go on to make six classic albums, and he'd recently released a milestone album of his own, 1964's Speak No Evil (Blue Note).

The Soothsayer finds Shorter in the company of such stellar contemporaries as bassist Ron Carter and the teen phenom drummer Tony Williams, both fellow members of Davis' group, as well as John Coltrane's pianist McCoy Tyner, firebrand trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and the superb alto saxophonist James Spaulding. All are in top form here with the underrated Spaulding pushing his more celebrated colleagues for top soloist honors. The album features five Shorter originals, including a couple of catchy hard bop cookers—"Angola" and "The Big Push"—which recall Shorter's tenure with Art Blakey. Also of note are the stirring Billie Holiday tribute "Lady Day" and Shorter's exquisite arrangement of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius' "Valse Triste."

The mystery surrounding The Soothsayer is why such an outstanding album sat gathering dust on the Blue Note shelves for 15 years before its eventual 1980 release. The only answer that comes to mind is that as good as it is, it's a fairly conventional outing that doesn't match the adventurousness of Shorter's other work from the period, like the heralded 1965 session The All Seeing Eye (Blue Note), or his contributions to landmark Davis albums like E.S.P. (Columbia, 1965), recorded just prior to The Soothsayer. Still, even if it's not a major breakthrough, it's an exhilarating illustration of Shorter's artistry both as a composer and tenor stylist.


Track Listing: Lost; Angola; The Big Push; The Soothsayer; Lady Day; Valse Triste; Angola (alternate take).

Personnel: Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone; James Spaulding: alto saxophone; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet; McCoy Tyner: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Tony Williams: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2016
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "The Getaway" CD/LP/Track Review The Getaway
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 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!

Buy it!