"Without A Net"...a sprawling, relentlessly inventive listen

February 10th, 2013

from latimes.com

Jazz album review: Wayne Shorter’s ‘Without a Net’
By: Chris Barton

There’s a moment during Wayne Shorter’s much-anticipated new album where someone, said to be a member of the string ensemble Imani Winds, lets out maybe the most natural response to Shorter’s darting soprano saxophone. “Oh my God,” she says with a touch of disbelief, and the band twists further into the hypnotic 23-minute composition “Pegasus.”

It’s an understandable reaction. “Without a Net” is Shorter’s first album for Blue Note Records in 43 years, and it’s the sort of release that seemed preordained for superlatives. Primarily taken from a European tour in late 2011 (the lone exception being the aforementioned “Pegasus,” which was recorded live with Imani Winds at Disney Hall in 2010), the album is a sprawling, relentlessly inventive listen that nods toward Shorter’s rich legacy as a true musical giant, even while pointing toward an undeniable truth that, even at 80 years old, he isn’t finished exploring yet.

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