Good, But It's Not The Blue Notes
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 10/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The self-titled "Wayne Shorter" collects the saxophonist's first three sessions as a leader on one CD. Recorded between late 1959 and early 1960, coincidentally around the same time Shorter joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, this disc features three different groups for each of the three recording dates. On the tracks "Down In The Depths," "Mack The Knife" and "Black Diamond" the band is Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. On "Peaches and Cream," "Seeds of Sin" and "Scourin'" the group is Morgan, Frank Strozier on alto sax, Bobby Timmons on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. The remaining seven tracks were cut by Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Eddie Higgins on piano, Jymie Merritt on bass and Marshall Thompson on drums. You may have noticed all of Shorter's Messenger-mates (Morgan, Timmons and Merritt) joined him for these sessions, except for Blakey himself. Speaking of the Messengers, this CD is quite good, but it does lack the overall polish and refinement of those Blakey Blue Note dates, or for that matter, Shorter's later albums for the label as a leader. If you haven't purchased all of the Jazz Messengers albums from 1960-64 (there are more than a dozen), or Shorter's seven 1964-66 Blue Notes, I would get those titles first. If you have snatched up all of those albums (like me), and are still looking for more to satisfy your hunger for Shorter, then this is for you."