music: October 2007 Archives
Here's some excerpts from my weekend piece on new jazz CDs in The Wall Street Journal, in case you missed it. What did not make it in -- a matter of timing, not taste -- is Herbie Hancock's latest, River: The Joni Letters (Verve): This is truly rewarding listening. Hancock recasts Mitchell's songs as sung by vocalists ranging from Tina Turner to Luciana Souza with invention and grace. But the best singing on the CD comes from Wayne Shorter's tenor and soprano saxophones; there's deeper humanity in Shorter's hushed tones and more conversational meter to his phrasing than nearly any vocalist can muster. This CD may center around Hancock's (and Shorter's) relationship with Mitchell and her songs, but more significantly and rather gloriously, it extends the four-decades-plus bond between Hancock and Shorter.