Wayne Shorter Quartet blow hot in Birmingham
By: James Bourne
It’s fitting that Wayne Shorter’s latest album, back on Blue Note after 43 years, is entitled Without a Net, because it aptly describes the nature of the live show; no net, no set performance. But why would you need one? Having been together for over a decade, the quartet – Shorter (tenor, soprano saxophone), Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) – is acquainted enough to extemporise freely with the written material. With Perez meticulously scanning the charts, it is usually through him or Patitucci’s pounding ostinatos to pick up after a theme has run its course. Yet the breakdowns were often as intriguing as the climaxes; either through a gorgeous melodic touch to remind you how gifted a composer Shorter is, or a more uneasy piece of improvisation.
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