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.
By Britt Robson on 09.11.13 in Icons
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who turned 80 last month, is often and accurately referred to as the greatest living composer in jazz. But that's too stuffy a description for who he is and what he does. As he put it to NPR ea...
By Britt Robson on 02.03.14 in Reviews
Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has been perfecting his fitful blend of Miles Davis-oriented electric fusion jazz for eight years now. The title of Face Forward, Jeremy sounds like his personal admonition to dedicate himself more...
By Britt Robson on 11.19.13 in Reviews
Wayne Shorter, our greatest living jazz composer, turned 80 in August. Endangered Species is the tribute he deserves, capturing much of the essential spirit of this sophisticated, allusive American original. The top-notc...
By Dave Sumner on 07.25.13 in Lists
Despite popular belief, jazz and pop music aren't at odds. In the past — and still to this day — jazz musicians have been both contributing to and tackling compositions from the Great American Songbook: Duke Ellington's...