"This gem of a session, recorded in June 1965, was never released until 1980 (according to the notes on my LP). It was recorded between Wayne's original releases 'Speak No Evil' and 'The All Seeing Eye', and just after 'The Soothsayer', which was not released until 1979.Like 'JuJu' (1964), it's a quartet session, where Wayne Shorter (tenor sax) is usually at his best, as he is free to paint the colors and textures of his unique style without sharing the palette with additional frontmen. Here he is joined by his close friend and fellow Miles' sideman, Herbie Hancock (piano), along with veterans Cecil McBee (bass) and Joe Chambers (drums). This quartet works very well as a unit, and the their strong communication is apparent through most of the album. Each member is on top of his game for this session, and the result is a very enjoyable recording.The quality of the recording is very good.Etcetera - A classic and hauntingly introspective Wayne composition, played quite freely with only a subtly implied tonality at best. Wayne and Herbie bounce ideas off each other during Wayne's solo, which is not one his most memorable of the session. Herbie's solo is haunting and mysterious on top of the inventive textures provided by Cecil and Joe. Joe solos, then Wayne takes it home.Penelope - A classic Wayne ballad in his signature 3/4 meter. Wayne is warm, thoughtful and mature in his presentation, which is simply perfectly executed. Herbie solos first, and is pensive and subtly inventive. Wayne follows with a warm, meditative and absolutely absorbent display of his most soulful of moods. Cecil and Joe provide a quiet and sensitive backdrop for both. My tears ran freely.Toy Tune - Perhaps not one of Wayne's most memorable compositions, this medium swing piece sounds more like the work Wayne and Herbie have been doing with Miles than the darker, haunting style Wayne typically projects as a leader. The work suffers a scarcity of texture and emotion throughout the melody and the solos by Wayne and Herbie, which are nonetheless pleasant.Barracudas - This Wayne rework of a Gil Evans original is nice. Wayne offers up some long flowing lines, then takes it up a notch to some real cool swinging. The energy continues to rise, and even goes outside a bit, eventually settling down again. Herbie takes over, starting near the bottom, then surfacing himself in an enlightened improvisation, balancing both hands very well. Joe works it both easy and hard. The dynamic energy levels are what make this piece work so well. Indian Song - An unmistakably Wayne composition, featuring a recurrent bass riff in 5/4 meter by Cecil upon which Wayne pours out his dark and mysterious lines, often quoting the head during his solo while Herbie plays inventively behind him. Herbie explores new territory throughout his wonderful solo, while being dynamically provoked by Joe and Cecil. Things quiet down as Cecil lays down an extended, well-textured invention of his own. Once again, an unsurpassed collaborative effort by the whole quartet.Besides the somewhat experimental title track, 'Etcetera' and the regrettably forgettable 'Toy Tune', this session includes some of the best work of Wayne's most significant period. Its another *must have* for you Wayne aficionados. If you enjoyed 'JuJu', 'Speak No Evil' or 'Adam's Apple', you'll relish this work. If 'Night Dreamer', Wayne's first for Blue Note, is more your style, then you might find his use of darker colors and rougher textures here a bit less palatable. I give it 5 stars with no regrets."
Get it Quick!!!!!
Douglas Gray | 05/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As part of The Blue Note Connoisseur series this CD was released for a limited time and is not always an easy find. I personally feel that this and "Speak No Evil" are Wayne's two best recordings and I tend to listen to "Et Cetera" more often. The playing is great and the music is very challenging, yet remains easy to listen to. They players, Herbie Hancock, Joe Chambers, Cecil McBee and Wayne really play off each other very well through out entire date. Get it while you can because one day you will wish you had."
s_molman | CT United States | 01/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is generally not ranked in the upper eschelon of Shorter efforts, but I was pleasantly surprised and how lovely it really is. This is very low-key shorter, and is a great recording to listen to at night. While not in the league with Speak No Evil or Adams Apple, this is not far behind and anyone who enjoys Jazz of a more restrained type will appreciate this."
G B | Connecticut | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Out of the seven acoustic albums that Wayne recorded for Blue Note, three are in the quartet format. Ju Ju and Adam's Apple are acknowledged classics, but Et Cetera is just as good if not as accessible. As far as rhythm section performances go, this is just about the best on any Shorter album (with the possible exception of Ju Ju); though the free and unpredictable interplay may be forbidding to some listeners, it generates a lot of heat and excitement. Herbie Hancock and Cecil McBee in particular deserves kudos. None of the Shorter tunes here are well-known, making each of the performances fresh. Wayne always had a taste for underused compositions by other artists: "Barracudas" is a Gil Evans piece treated in superb fashion by the quartet. And "Indian Song" is just incredible -- one of Wayne's most haunting, evocative tunes, even in comparison to "Footprints" or "Nefertiti". Wayne's playing is sparse and mysterious over the roiling, churning 5/4 rhythms. Though Speak no Evil and Ju Ju are probably better entry points for budding Wayne Shorter fans, this is definitely one of the highlights of his discography. Despite being released under Blue Note's limited edition Connoisseur series in the mid-90s, it hasn't gone out of print yet. Get this beautiful, mysterious music while it is available."
Just keeps getting better with age
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 04/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like fine wine, or Duke Ellington, Mr Shorter's ETCETERA is better than when it was first released forty years ago. God knows there is a lot of music dross out there in the ether but this is not part of it - it is a stunning quartet album, and an underrated masterpiece. Mr Hancock Mr McBee and Mr Chambers have rarely sounded better in a quartet setting and the album is well recorded. The title track for example is a haunting beautiful piece much more, to my ear, reverberating than Footprints. A must own."