Jazz2K: July’s CD Picks of the Month

July 23rd, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg

Reviews by J Hunter

Since summer isn’t cooling down any time soon, here are five more discs that you can use to fight heat with HOT!

Wayne Shorter Quartet: Without A NetWAYNE SHORTER QUARTET
Without a Net
(Blue Note)
Some years ago, I reviewed the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s second concert disc Beyond the Sound Barrier, and said that if the only way to get music that wild was to have them record live, then keep that band on the road! It took eight years for another Shorter Quartet live date to emerge, but given the divine madness contained on Without a Net, I don’t think we should give the octogenarian saxman any static – and the same goes for his peerless support group. Keyboardist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade are all leaders in their own right, and yet they have unified behind Shorter to create a freewheeling, high-flying sound machine that can create staggering soundscapes like “S.S. Golden Mean” and “Zero Gravity to the 10th Power.” “Starry Night” is a Shorter ballad that becomes an epic love story, and the movie-musical classic “Flying Down to Rio” is happily demolished and then re-built in Shorter’s own image. Certain polls notwithstanding, Shorter’s not the best soprano player on the planet any more. But when it comes to making music that’s boundless in its creativity, and demanding already-brilliant players to take it three steps further, Wayne Shorter is unmatched.

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