Date: February 9, 2011
Venue: Town Hall (NY)
Reviewed by Roberto Romeo
Jazz used to be the free form of music, but the various marketing strategies have somehow tarnished this reality. On Wednesday, at Town Hall, The Wayne Shorter Quartet delivered once again, (actually to a higher level) what Jazz stands for.
Following a repetitive line for all of the first part of the concert at about the 1 1/2 hour mark, the quartet was able to captivate the audience. There is a very specific formula that Mr. Shorter loves to follow: he lets Mr. Perez and Mr. Patitucci lay down possible melodic lines together with the unique and quite amazing drumming coming from Mr. Blade, who has a surprising way of interacting with the rest of the group.
I believe that the high standards of these great musicians is stunning. Even Mr. Shorter was taken by the intensity of the other three masters. Everything felt free, but under control and designed to deliver a continuous flow of strong and magical feelings for the audience. Mr Shorter aimed (nodded at) some tunes like Starry Nights, Zero
Gravity, and Lotus. However, I believe the goal was to deliver a totally free event in New York City. It was evident, by the number of important musicians amongst the audience, how much this group is respected. A standing ovation brought the group back for an intense 20 minute encore. Even with some technical issues, first with Mr. Shorter soprano sax and later with Mr. Blades snare drums, there was proof plenty that jazz is still a free form of music and it is still what people need. The intensity of Danilo Perez on piano, the exquisite line of John Patitucci on bass, the
sweet and sour energy of Brian Blade augmented by the musicality of the master – Wayne Shorter, elevates this performance to a level above everything else.
New York Times review by : Abstract and Fluid Jazz by Ben Ratliff