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Wayne Shorter Pushes the Limits of Jazz, Music at Herbst Theatre

October 3rd, 2011

from blogs.sfweekly.com

Wayne Shorter Pushes the Limits of Jazz, Music at Herbst Theatre
By: Dean Schaffer

Stripped of his pen, notebook, and incredibly necessary glasses, the concert reviewer can’t help but feel out of his element, totally unprepared to eventually write a proper piece on the merits of a show.

But with Wayne Shorter at Herbst Theatre last night, this reviewer in particular isn’t sure that any number of pens, notebooks, or prescription eyewear could have prepared him for the task. Not in the slightest.

Now 78 years old, Shorter took the stage with Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums. As Shorter’s tenor sax warmed the room — a beautiful, refined concert hall that seemed like the closest thing to a natural habitat for the group’s music — the first piece stretched past the 10 minute mark. Then 25. Then 40, before finally sputtering to a last gasp and allowing the audience to unleash a thunderous applause.

‚ÄčAlong the way, Shorter’s group unleashed a tidal wave of challenging sound; at one point, his melody alluded to a line from Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” In some ways, his quartet’s sound seemed to pick up where that classic piece left off, with discordant parts wailing in seemingly isolated derangement but then uniting to create something that challenged the audience’s ears but still managed to reward them immensely.

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