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Wayne Shorter's Without A Net on the Blue Note label


EyeSpeech
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...I never liked this band (What I mean is with some other musicians, it could be much more),..

I know you've heard a lot of music by a lot of different people and wouldn't say anything like this casually, so I ask this strictly out of genuine curiosity - what other musicians would you have in mind, and what more/else could this music be at this point in time?

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Well Jim, I know I'm in the minority here about this, but I would like to not only hear the direction that this band spends most of their time in, but also I'd like to hear a little ( or a lot ) of fire. For me, I especially would like to hear more variety in tempo and rhythm.

I think a drummer like Johnathan Blake would be a better drummer, who can play with a lot of color and can lay it down. Clarence Penn would be great for the same reasons. Terreon Gully would be tremendous.

I've never been a fan of Perez. He's a fine musician but he is not a complete pianist for me and I get bored of pianistic tricks after a while, and he can go on an and on with that. Geoffrey Keezer would be the ultimate pianist for Wayne's ( or anyone's ) group. He can take the music anywhere while keeping it interesting ( and deep) and he also can put a little needed ass ( in a rhythmic sense). David Budway would be more than interesting also.

No problems with Patitucci, for me.

I have to admit that all of the musicians I've suggested are friends of mine but they also fit the bill as complete musicians for the band.

Frankly, there is a lot of time that passes where it seems that that the band is going in in different directions and not playing as a unit or at least coming together and serving the music, if you know what I mean.

When I'm listening to this band I find myself cherry picking points of interest in the fog.

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You are not acknowledging this band's approach. It's not about tempo or rhythm in any traditional sense. It's about drilling into the harmonic essence of each composition. If you can't appreciate it, that's fine, but second-guessing one of the greatest composers and band-leaders in jazz history--one who could pick whoever he desired to be in his band--is not just silly. It's pointless.

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... but second-guessing one of the greatest composers and band-leaders in jazz history--one who could pick whoever he desired to be in his band--is not just silly. It's pointless.

Oh please. Even Homer nodded, as the old saying goes.

Anyway, different strokes and all, but I have been completely underwhelmed the 2 or 3 times I've seen Shorter as a leader (not necessarily as sideman). I have no interest in where he is going/where he is now. And for sure I will be passing on this CD.

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Looking forward to this one. I don't think that "drilling into the harmonic essence" is something that eludes fans if they are not musically trained, and that sometimes adds to the not getting it. I'm not a musician but my ear has become accustomed to unusual harmonies or harmonic abstractions, because I think after so much time, the ear gets used to "conventional". I always felt Brian Blade brings a strong fire to the group with his explosions within the music.

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It's a strange cover. The design reminds me of some of the King issued Blue Note covers like "The Soothsayer" but the naked people falling is really out there. Wayne and the quartet sort of free themselves of any "attachment" in the music and sort of flows, in the spirit of joy and creation, so the freeing of attachment is kind of what makes this band's music difficult for some, IMO.

Edited by CJ Shearn
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When I saw the quartet at Yoshi's, it really took me by surprise. Like Marcello, I expected a more overt rhythmic and melodic ground to sink into, but it simply wasn't there. Took me all of the first tune and some of the second (about 1/4 of the way into the set) before I started to understand what the band was doing, and wrap my brain around it. Once I made the adjustment as a listener it was almost like learning a new language. By the end of the set I was immersed in it as something new in jazz--and how rare is that anymore.

Edited by EyeSpeech
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I suppose it could theoretically still change before the Feb 5 release date, but yes, that's the real cover art that's been posted on BlueNote.com and several other sites.

I've got to say, some of the comments here about the cover and the melodic/rhythmic thrust of the group seem woefully superficial, given that the group has basically elevated the language of jazz to something new.

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Tom M, I sense from your alternate personnel suggestions that you're itching for some swing. I don't think Shorter is much interested in swinging with this group, though. If any one member (besides Shorter) is indispensable, IMHO, it's Blade. With all respect for Blake, Penn and Gulleon, masters all, I just don't know if they are interested in the kind of free abstraction that defines this group. What makes this group special for me is the way it combines an extremely abstract viewpoint with a kind of gleeful physicality. It's sui generis.

Because it's essentially stream-of-consciousness music, there are moments when inspiration lags. But that happens with almost any group. I have to be in the mood for this group, but when I am I find it a particularly bracing experience.

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What I find most strange about the cover is that it appears to be a nude woman & young girl falling from the sky. Considering what happened to Wayne's wife & neice... well, could it be that this is what Wayne was doing here or does he actually not see the connection?

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan
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What I find most strange about the cover is that it appears to be a nude woman & young girl falling from the sky. Condiering what happened to Wayne's wife & neice... well, could it be that is what Wayne was doing here or does he actually not see the connection?

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!! That's absolutely right. Really strange when you think about it, but not really, as I'm sure Wayne still feels the loss of it every day, but he's managed to free himself of the attachment of that suffering, and has moved on in his daily life.

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I don't find it strange at all that one of the defining experiences of Shorter's life would end up on the cover of one of his records.

Getting back to the music, this description of the quartet resonates with me:

This is uncompromising stuff that requires a lot of work from the listener. At times it's like eavesdropping on an esoteric joke shared by four geniuses, conducted in a dialect you don't quite understand. But watching and, more to the point, hearing outstanding musicians who know how to listen, respond and improvise meaningfully with each other is always an exhilarating experience.

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