February 7, 2013

LA Times Reviews ‘Without a Net’; Calls It “Sprawling, Relentlessly Inventive”

The LA Times  gave Wayne’s Tuesday release, Without a Net a great review:

“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.’

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.

The album opens with a nod toward Shorter’s fertile period backing Miles Davis in a deconstructed, darker take on ‘Orbits,’ which features a rumbling, shadowy piano from Danilo Perez. Shorter’s horn weaves and flutters, and keeping his restless drive — and indeed the whole record — from twisting off the rails is the group’s longtime drummer Brian Blade, who forms the elastic backbone for each track with an incomparable mix of grace and drive.

‘Plaza Real’ from Shorter’s Weather Report days is bent into new, cascading angles, and the group gets another sideways acknowledgment in a few flourishes in ‘Pegasus’ that recall “Black Market.” But as much as the record is a showcase for Shorter and his knotty compositional voice, the star remains the band and its near-telepathic interplay, leaving the music feeling spacious and oddly ephemeral, as if it keeps changing with every listen. While the album is daunting to absorb at a sprawling 77 minutes, the results are well worth it.”

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