Wayne Shorter, a legend, an icon, a teacher, philosopher, artist - all of the above.
At 72, Shorter has been part of such bands as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Miles Davis Quintet (Herbie Hancock era), and co-founded Weather Report. His many other projects are too numerous to list. Several projects which included his recent band members have led to the recording of Beyond the Sound Barrier.
Featuring pianist - Danilo Perez, bassist - John Patitucci and drummer - Brian Blade, this project is the result of several years of recording and touring which all began in 2002 with Footprints Live!. Shorter followed up this CD with a large ensemble tour resulting in the Grammy winning Alegria in 2003.
Beyond the Sound Barrier also a live album, is described by Wayne as a continuum to the above mentioned projects. This much time together has resulted in a maturity many bands never achieve. Verve staff writers call it 'improvisational telepathy'. Whatever it is, the result is wonderfully moving and meditational.
Wayne created an environment eliminating creative boundaries, with a vision of a new musical horizon as the end goal. The result is a fresh and exciting sound, which proves that Wayne Shorter was right, "if you let them, they will groove". Shorter says his music is making a statement 'about what life is', with most musicians wanting to play it safe on stage, typically playing their best stuff, ’I’ve got nothing to lose now, - I'm going for the unknown'.
I believe that Beyond the Sound Barrier may be one of the most important pieces of improvised live acoustic music ever recorded. A bold statement from a relatively unknown writer, I know - but I have listened to a lot of jazz in the last 35 years, much of it live, most of it in New York and L.A. (not bragging, just a lot of great opportunities to see and hear all the greats as they passed through). I have listened to this recording for the last month and I keep hearing new things, this is really complex music - performed by some very special people.
For those of you who are new to jazz, I am about to go out on a limb here. Like a right of passage, this CD will open up a new view to the world of jazz improvisation for you. I hesitate to even use the word 'jazz', as this music is as much classically inspired as it is jazz. But do not just listen to it - instead, immerse yourself in it - and wash away boundaries that prevent you from traveling Beyond the Sound Barrier.
Dedicated to the people who have challenged barriers designed to stifle and eradicate value creation and human development. - Wayne Shorter