Wayne Shorter Quartet: Without a Net (2013)
By: John Eyles
It is now well over a decade since legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter formed this quartet with Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade to tour and record Footprints Live! (Verve, 2001), an album which signaled the end of a period in the doldrums for Shorter and a cracking return to form. The energy and verve of the quartet’s three younger players brought out the best of Shorter, a reminder why he deserved that “legendary” tag.
A 2003 studio-recorded follow-up, Alegria (Verve), hedged its bets by mixing and matching the quartet with guest stars. In the years since, the quartet has not released another album to match Footprints Live!—until now. Without a Net was mainly recorded on the quartet’s European tour in late 2011 and captures it in full flow in front of enthusiastic audiences. Most remarkably, after 43 years away from Blue Note, Without a Net marks Shorter’s return to the label for which he recorded the extraordinary series of albums including Speak No Evil (1965) and Adam’s Apple (1966).
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