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Wayne Shorter - Introducing Wayne Shorter [Aka: Blues A La Carte] CD (album) cover


Wayne Shorter


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.98 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Most experts agree that 1959 was one hell of a year in jazz music, with many going as far as to say that it was the finest year that the genre would ever see. With legends like Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, and many others releasing some of the best albums in their careers over this twelve month span, it's difficult to argue with that statement. One of the slightly more forgotten, but still renowned, releases from this year is the debut from saxophone great Wayne Shorter. Introducing Wayne Shorter is the tenor saxophonist's first effort as a band leader, with greats like Lee Morgan (trumpet), Paul Chambers (bass), Wynton Kelly (piano), and Jimmy Cobb (drums) also on board. This tight lineup delivers six tunes of quality hard bop on this LP, and while I don't think it possesses the same level of greatness as other classics from 1959, this is still a highly enjoyable performance from some of the finest in jazz.

The music you'll find on Introducing Wayne Shorter is pretty standard hard bop for the time. Piano, bass, and hard-hitting drums lay a strong foundation for extended soloing, with each band member given plenty of opportunities to show off their technical skills. Jimmy Cobb's tasteful yet powerful drumming is what immediately draws my attention, and even though all eyes are typically on the soloist, his drumming is simply memorizing. That's not to discount the other musicians, though, as every one of them delivers plenty of great solos throughout the duration of the LP. While I wouldn't call the songwriting here particularly excellent, everything is solid from beginning to end - the nearly ten minute "Down In The Depths" is probably my favorite track if I had to pick one.

Though Introducing Wayne Shorter isn't the most original or captivating hard bop album from the late fifties', it's still an impressive debut from one of saxophone's greatest talents. The impressive technical capabilities of the quintet parred by an equally excellent production makes this a recommendable purchase for all fans of hard bop. I'd say 3.5 stars are deserved for this solid effort.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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