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Shorter, Wayne: Live at Montreux 1996 (DVD)

Hard to believe Wayne Shorter is approaching 80 years old. This sax legend is a musical treasure, his recorded work with acts such as Maynard Ferguson, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis, Weather Report, as well as his fine body of solo material, remain classics of the jazz & fusion genres. This live set from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1996 features a powerhouse performance from Shorter and his band, showing a sax player that, despite his advancing age, remains a force on the jazz scene. His band here includes James Beard on keyboards, David Gilmore on guitar, veteran bassist Alphonso Johnson, and drummer Rodney Holmes. They dip into tunes from throughout Shorter's career, like the classic "Endangered Species", "On the Milky Way Express", and of course "At the Fair". Plenty of room for extended solos on these lengthy tracks, drummer Holmes is a revelation, his nimble, funky, yet powerful fills & beats are a wonder to behold, and guitarist Gilmore is quite a tasty player in his own right, his mix of jazz and rock licks subtle but impressive. Of course, it helps to have another Weather Report alumnus on board here, Johnson himself legendary in his own right, and he's still got the chops from hell it seems! An absolutely stunning live set from this band that needs to be seen to be believed.

Over on the bonus features you get two songs from a 1991 apearance from the 'supergroup' of Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, and Omar Hakim. All I can say! It's a shame that only "Footprints" and "On the Milky Way Express" were included, as I'm sure many would love to see a full set from these monster players. On the first track, Clarke is featured on the acoustic upright bass, and for the finale the whole band is electric and rips it up in a big way. The following year, Hancock and Shorter returned, this time with Tony Williams and Ron Carter in tow, for a tribute to Miles Davis. This is another stunner, as the four piece rips into standards "Pinocchio" and "Pee Wee/Theme", Carter looking like the old codger yet absolutely ripping on the upright bass, while Williams and his commanding chops shining as you would expect. Throw in some majestic piano from Hancock and Shorter's always melodic lines and you have one unstoppable force here. Sadly, Tony Williams is no longer with us, and he's greatly missed.

This is a mandatory purchase for any jazz fan, a highly recommended DVD that you will certainly want in your collection.

Track Listing
Main Show - 1996
1) On The Milky Way Express
2) At The Fair
3) Over Shadow Hill Way
4) Children Of The Night
5) Endangered Species
Bonus Tracks - 1991
1) Footprints
2) On The Milky Way Express
Bonus Tracks - 1992
1) Pinocchio
2) Pee Wee / Theme

Added: February 14th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 1875
Language: english

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