Other Places: Blumenfeld On Shorter

Shorter.jpgWayne Shorter turned seventy-five in August and played a delayed celebratory concert this week in Carnegie Hall. He was with his working rhythm section of pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The remarkable Imani Winds also played a set with Shorter. I wasn’t there, worse luck, but fellow artsjournal.com blogger Larry Blumenfeld was. He filed a moving report on his Listen Good. Excerpts:

It’s as if Shorter has simply liberated each song from its beginning and end, allowing each to extend and even blur into one another, free of given duration. The cliché when describing a band as strongly in sync as Shorter’s is that it moves as one: But these musicians don’t. And they don’t follow the leader, either, beyond taking his song cues –“Zero Gravity,” “Sanctuary,” “Joy Rider,” among a few others–and adjusting to his rhythmic and dynamic shifts.

The arrangements were like gardens that had grown over to an absurd yet startlingly beautiful point, yet somehow retained the logic of their original plantings. And even in such elaborate context, seated the whole time, Shorter was prominent without being dominant, playing upward-pointed lines, high-register squeals, well-placed single notes, and, at one point, soft blues phrases with obvious glee and no signs of slowing down.

To read all of Blumenfeld’s review, click here. Now, I’m back to work on a Ralph Rainger project appearing soon in a newspaper near you.

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