‘Without a Net’ Wayne Shorter Quartet
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter ranks among jazz’s greatest composers, but when his quartet performs live – as on this album – his compositions are mere frameworks for daring improvisations that take off in unexpected directions without a safety net. His acoustic quartet includes three leaders in their own right – pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade – who’ve developed an almost telepathic interplay after 12 years together.
On Without a Net, his first Blue Note recording in 43 years, the 79-year-old Shorter remakes two earlier compositions, Orbits, written for the Miles Davis Quintet, and Plaza Real, created for his jazz-fusion band Weather Report. Flying Down to Rio, from the 1933 film that first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is transformed into a harmonically complex, otherworldly exploration.
There are six new Shorter compositions, ranging from the hypnotically melodic Starry Night to the 23-minute chamber jazz tone poem, Pegasus, performed with The Imani Winds quintet that walks a tightrope between written and improvised music.
– Associated Press