Following A Spirit Of Discovery
By: Nate Chinen
Since forming a dozen years ago the Wayne Shorter Quartet has held to a rigorously thorough standard of discovery, welcoming not only flashes of inspiration but also irresolute pauses, stubborn quandaries and heady longueurs.
At its best the band makes this process feel intuitive, creating cycles of action and implication. And so it went in a magnificent and volatile performance at the Rose Theater on Friday night, the first of two sold-out concerts presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The quartet — with Mr. Shorter, 78, on tenor and soprano saxophones, Danilo Pérez on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums — prizes the give and take of collective improvisation even when working with written material, as it did here. During an hour and 40 minutes the frame kept methodically changing. About every five minutes a theme would run its course or stop short, leaving someone in the band, usually Mr. Pérez, to begin a new thread, which he did with classical poise.
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