Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wayne Shorter "Speak No Evil" (1965)


 American Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter may not be as well remembered today but hes one of the music scenes most acclaimed with an astonishing ten Grammy's in his belt. Hes been at it since 59 and is still making records today with releases spanning a whooping seven decades. "Speak No Evil" is his sixth release and one of four in the year of 65. Seeking another Jazz record to enjoy, this comes from the recently discovered list of "Jazz Classics".

It starts of as a harder hitting album with an ambitious, striking saxophone singing out hooks over mellow, laid back piano and drums before delving into a typically improvisational avenue that lets the saxophone take lead with a variety of scales, usually drifting between flat and conventional melodies. Its atmospheric, chilled out but fairly uneventful. The album takes a while to get going with the title track brightening the mood with orchestrated leads that brings the piano to the forefront with the two dancing around one another in tandem in the songs opening construct. The last two tracks really pick up for me with milder moods and slow, steady leads that are much more telling than the first half. When coming at a steadier pace the words and feelings are in the saxophones voice. There's much sadness and sorrow in "Infant Eyes" with an observant tone, as if caught in the aftermath of tragedy with acceptance in mind.

Much of Jazz is hard for me to put into words. I enjoy it, as much as I enjoy whats mysterious and distant about it, the free flowing drums and soothing nature of their relation with the pianos create a pleasurable canvas for a lead to glide and pale through on its own accord but somewhere in that chemistry I feel rather at the mercy of my own ignorance. Despite listening to a lot of Jazz in recent years and very much enjoying the vibe it brings, I struggle to find the words as I did with this one and as I'm sure i will with another Ive been listening to frequently. Enjoyable record with a few "go to" tracks for that particular mood.

Favorite Tracks: Speak No Evil, Infant Eyes, Wild Flower
Rating: 6/10

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