Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Following the release of the critically acclaimed Footprints Live!, this CD is saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter's first studio recording as a leader since the Grammy-winning 1994 release, High Life. Shorter is joined by ... more »
Listen to Samples
Following the release of the critically acclaimed Footprints Live!, this CD is saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter's first studio recording as a leader since the Grammy-winning 1994 release, High Life. Shorter is joined by pianists Danilo Perez and Brad Mehldau, bassist John Patitucci, drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Brian Blade, and percussionist Alex Acuna. Backed by a superb woodwind and brass ensemble, this project offers a comprehensive and sophisticated presentation of Shorter's music, from the Andalusian airs on "Vendiendo Alegria" by Antonio Molina to a reincarnation of "Capricorn II" from his mid-'60s Miles Davis days. Shorter's soprano and tenor playing is his most expressive in years, and producer Robert Sadin (who worked on Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World and Kathleen Battle's So Many Stars) has provided Shorter with his most poignant sonic setting on record. --Eugene Holley, Jr.
Similarly Requested CDs
A return to form ... and the studio.
Troy Collins | Lancaster, PA United States | 05/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wayne Shorter's triumphant return to acoustic jazz on his Grammy nominated live album, Footprints, set the stage for this forward thinking and unique item in his discography. An almost orchestral album in scope, Alegria finds Wayne Shorter revisiting both classic pieces made famous during his stay in the Miles Davis quintet along with more obscure traditional fare.There is one new tune present however, the opening cut "Sacajawea," which is rhythmically based on a driving boogaloo back beat. Shorter's overdubbed dual soprano lines complement his frenetic linear tenor solo on this cut. A fabulous opening to an intriguing album to be sure. The overall mood of Alegria is predominantly one of cool contemplation. Fortunately, the orchestration never becomes overwrought, opting for a "less is more" approach, exemplifying Shorter's compositional mastery.Two classic 60's era compositions that were conceived during Shorter's tenure with Miles Davis, "Angola" and "Orbits," make radically updated appearances here. "Angola" is driven along with an almost tribal African rhythm, which is a trait shared by quite a few of the tracks on this release. There is an almost world music like patina to these proceedings. "Orbits" initially takes a more relaxed approach, which is undercut by the mysterious multiphonic solo that Shorter delivers throughout the song. Never one to lack for interesting material, there is a traditional waltz, a choral piece and a 1930's flamenco tune all adapted for inclusion.Another highlight is an absolutely gorgeous interpretation of Villa-Lobos' "Bachias Brasieiras No.5". Hand percussion provides the foundation for cello and tenor sax to gently prod the piece along in a satisfying and wholly organic manner. Despite the fact that a mere third of the tunes on this album are stripped down quartet tracks, the sporadic and tasteful appearances of a few string players and a small horn section give the album a more intimate feel than one would expect with such a large ensemble.For those who've been waiting for Shorter to return to the studio to do an all acoustic recording, this should certainly satisfy. It's not the rough and tumble recording that Footprints was, but this certainly adds a new wrinkle to the Shorter legacy. Stylistically alternating between the rich orchestration of "Serenata" and the free form tenor and drum dialogue of "Interlude", Alegria is a welcome return to the sort of diverse album that made Wayne Shorter required listening in the first place."
Great art by one of the best jazz composers and performers
Troy Collins | 05/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wayne Shorter, throughout his career, has continued to astound everyone in the jazz world and this album is by no means away from that path. Alegria is a step in several different landscapes and times of music. From Villa-Lobos to English Carols, Wayne can do it all and continue to keep up his relevance and freshness that his atonality to harmony brings. This was voted as Jazztimes #1 Album of 2003, so why wouldnt you buy it?"
Arthur Shuey | Wilmington, NC USA | 01/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
Verve Records 314543558-2
Studio technology gets better and better. On "Sacajawea," which opens this new 10-song jazz release, it's used to make saxophone sound like "Mississippi saxophone," better known to most readers as "harmonica." It's weird, but it's innovative. It's weird, but it works, and isn't that part of the mission statement of a true jazz act, anyway?
During the second listen, themes begin to take shape. Gradually, subtly, it becomes apparent that this is an instrumental jazz opera, maybe not to the satisfaction of real opera buffs, but to the extent that Tommy and Jesus Christ, Superstar were rock operas or even that Porgy and Bess was some sort of hyphenated opera. Because it is instrumental, plot and characters are rather difficult to explain, for the story uses rhythm rather than romance and melody rather than melodrama in its development. Shorter once said, recalling his days with Miles Davis, "With Miles, I felt like a cello, I felt viola, I felt liquid, dot-dash . . . and colors really started coming."
On this deep, rich release, color arrives for Shorter and his listeners alike. The flirtation with gypsy music is particularly effective and will be remembered as a cornerstone of "world jazz" as that sub-genre develops."