Shorter Sweeter

I went to see Wayne Shorter last night! He’s still one of my favourite composers, so it was great to go and hear the work he’s been doing recently. It was a series of suites that have his quartet (with John Patitucci (bass), Brian Blade (drums), and Danilo Perez (piano)) accompanied by the LA Philharmonic to bring out, amplify, and explore a wider range of harmonies than you’d get with the quartet alone. It was a great evening, enhanced further by the fact that on two pieces, he had as special guest (singing on one and playing bass and singing on the other) Esperanza Spalding (who I’d seen recently at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam – post here), who I’ve now learned has a stunning voice! Stunning. Remarkable control and clarity (hitting upper register notes that sounds as sharply as a struck bell, remarked the friend who I was with) while remaining haunting and beautiful in its tone. It’s a good match since Wayne shorter’s saxophone sound to me is one of the most haunting and beautiful voices in jazz, a quality that has persisted from his early days right to today. (extra: See a recent NPR piece here.)

(Note: picture not taken during performance.)


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