Wayne Shorter, Alegria

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 08.27.12 in Reviews


Wayne Shorter

When Footprints Live! was released in 2002, it was a hopeful sign that Wayne Shorter was ready to re-immerse himself in music. A year later, Alegria confirmed it in stunning fashion. The first Shorter-led all-acoustic collection since 1967, it is bracketed by two strong tracks from what is now his longstanding quartet with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Pattitucci and drummer Brian Blade. Elsewhere he utilizes an all-star cast that includes Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Jeremy Pelt and a wind and brass section for arrangements of classical, traditional folk and his own vintage jazz pieces. But be it his robust tenor and soprano sax playing on the Latin jazz-rock of the opener, “Sacajawea,” or the beguiling cello ensemble arrangement set against his tenor and Alex Acuna’s percussion on “Bachianas Brasileiras No.5″ by Villa-Lobos, it was clear for all to hear throughout Alegria — awarded two Grammy Awards in 2003 — that Wayne Shorter was back.