Waynes Best record!!!
Jakob Hellberg | Gothenburg, Sweden | 02/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The all-seeing Eye is one of Shorters more obscure records but it's actually his best IMO. The reason for it's relatively unpopular status is probably because the music is pretty close to free-jazz at times (it's not a free jazz record though, explorative post-bop or inside/outside is probably the best description), a form of music many people hate. For me, who love free-jazz and this Blue Note post-bopstyle, it's pure heaven. Wayne Shorters playing is explosive throughout and so is Hancock. I'm not a big fan of Hubbard who appeared on far too many Blue Note records in this era (why they didn't use Woody Shaw more often is a mystery to me) but he does a good job without really standing out (as usual). The front line is filled out with the awesome trombonist/composer Grachan MoncurIII and the underrated altoist James Spaulding. They don't solo much but their contributions are no less important for that, giving the ensembles a rich sound.
My two favourite songs on this cd is "Chaos" and "Mephistopheles". "Chaos" is raw, edgy post-bop at it's very best with a great, Dolphy -inspired solo by Spaulding and one of my all-time favourite Shorter solos where he starts off pretty uninspired but soon turns into one of his most explosive solos (also check out Joe Chambers drum responses when Shorter kicks into high gear). Even Hancock gets aggressive on this one!!!
"Mephistopheles" is the most untypical song on the record. It was written by (and includes) Waynes brother Alan who was more of a free/avantgarde performer. It was also recorded for Marion Browns debut album with a different title. This version, however, is much better. The tempo is slower and the drums get into an awesome, almost tribal, groove. Hancock pretty much plays one chord throughout which gives it a hypnotic quality. This song sounds almost unlike anything in jazz and MUST be heard!
Overall, this album may not appeal to people who like other Shorter records like Ju-Ju, Speak No Evil (my other Shorter favorite) or the slick Adams Apple but if you like adventurous music, be sure to check it out!!!"
An Avant-Garde Jazz Masterpiece.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While much of Wayne Shorter's other albums neatly fit into the conventions of jazz, 1965's "The All Seeing Eye" defies those conventions and stands as the most challenging and most daring record of his career with Blue Note. Featuring an all-star lineup that includes heavyweights Herbie Hancock (piano), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), and Joe Chambers (drums), "The All Seeing-Eye" is an often fascinating journey of dark moods, interesting textures, and unexpected highs. The frenetic, kickoff title cut has Hubbard and Shorter feeding off each others' energy to the frantic beat of Chambers on drums. "Chaos," a great hard bop number, hits you hard with its fierce blows of aggression, while the best is saved for last: the dark and ominous "Mephistopheles" which is a true mind-blower. A must own for those who like a little spice in their jazz collection, "The All Seeing Eye"'s power can't be underestimated. Turn off the lights, crank up the sound, and step into Wayne's World."
Wayne's investigations take flight
Swing King | Cincinnati, OH USA | 04/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shorter and company pulled off this delightful improvisational album for Blue Note in 1965, and thankfully it has been remastered at 24-bits by Rudy Van Gelder. The personnel is a talented bunch of players, including Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Al Shorter (flugelhorn; 5 only), Grachan Mongur III (trombone), James Spaulding (alto sax), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Joe Chambers (drums).
Miles' 1959 "Kind of Blue" altered the culture and future course of jazz as we know it and in that strain Shorter came along with this work of topnotch modal improvisational jazz. At the time this was recorded Shorter had never led with such a big group of sidemen. The nature of this music is immensely exploratory, channeling textures and colors that seem to move outward as the sounds unfold.
Before I forget, Herbie Hancock is outstanding on these tracks. Wayne was questioning and daring on this date, blowing his horn and sending torrents of investigative sound at listeners. This Rudy Van Gelder Edition offers buyers the top-quality sound of Wayne's most unique Blue Note recording.