Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Leo Genovese, Esperanza Spalding, Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Candid ****

With Wayne Shorter who turned 89 the other day no longer performing live for health reasons the jazz world thinks of him in an historical way. Certainly as a bona fide icon since the 1960s while he was still an active touring performer that was …

Published: 3 Sep 2022. Updated: 24 days.

With Wayne Shorter who turned 89 the other day no longer performing live for health reasons the jazz world thinks of him in an historical way. Certainly as a bona fide icon since the 1960s while he was still an active touring performer that was also the case but there was a subtle difference. And certainly hearing him several times live over the years and even interviewing him face to face at the Dorchester once circa Alegría in 2003 proved a different feeling given that we were always expecting new music in the pipeline and no two albums were ever the same given the panoramic vision of Shorter the composer. I guess more and more archive releases will be released in the years to come beginning here back in 2017 on this live recording made at the Detroit Jazz Festival released on the revived Candid label in a line-up not heard on record before as a unit featuring drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pianist Leo Genovese and double bassist Esperanza Spalding. Chief interest lives in the inclusion of Geri Allen's 'Drummer's Song' (a composition that appeared on the album Open On All Sides - In The Middle (Minor Music, 1987). Allen who had recently died was to have been the pianist on the concert date. Overall a feast for Shorter lovers. A concerto length 'Endangered Species', 'Encontros e Despedidas' and Shorter's 'Midnight In Carlotta’s Hair,' a piece included on the Grammy-winning 1995-released High Life album, are also among the selections. Spalding who since this recording has worked closely with Shorter on an opera is, like John Patitucci, an ideal bass line interpreter of his work, a crucial role in the sound particularly in this context.

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Ingrid Laubrock + Tom Rainey, Counterfeit Mars, Relative Pitch ***

This latest free improv duo exploration from husband and wife improvisers saxist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey is a remedy to ward off complacency and provides once again via Laubrock's supreme command of her instrument in the lead a …

Published: 2 Sep 2022. Updated: 10 days.

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This latest free improv duo exploration from husband and wife improvisers saxist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey is a remedy to ward off complacency and provides once again via Laubrock's supreme command of her instrument in the lead a wake-up call.

The music is disciplined, challenging, not showbiz at all or built up via a formula that gets approved by the overpaid suits and their many flunkeys, Laubrock is maddeningly prolific so it is pretty impossible to keep up with all her output.

Rainey reminds me a little of Paul Motian, sometimes a drummer like Steve Dakiz Davis flits into view too which is also cheering and sometimes too you think of Rashied Ali in lockstep with Coltrane although Rainey's approach isn't multi-directional all the time. Together they know how to pace their improvisations perfectly. Laubrock can be Chris Potter-like when she wants to be perhaps to some against the odds. And yet the German born player can also strip the instrument back to something of a primal scream and be as out there as anyone who resides on the outer limits of adventure.

Succinct - all the pieces are under 6 minutes, some weighing in at a lot less - and all amount to as coherent an avant statement to come along in many months certainly the last duo that moved us in this domain was Tim Berne and Gregg Belisle-Chi's marvellous Mars. Echo that emotion, sock it to the man - free your minds and get the memo jazz isn't supposed to be slick and only for yuppies. These two not just got that missive long ago but wrote the book on it and continue to add new appendices and footnotes all these years on in their fascinating work together.