*Saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter takes the longer view after his many decades in jazz *
By: Greg Thomas
After 600 shows, the Wayne Shorter Quartet functions almost telepathically.
“It takes a kind of courage and chance-taking attitude and trust for them to do what they do when we get together, as this combination, myself included,” Shorter says.
What the Grammy-winning ensemble does is play without a script, creating music that ebbs and flows, ascends and descends, their improvisational intent creating organic unity on the spot, in the moment.
Fans can catch the quartet’s chemistry when they perform Friday and Saturday at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.
Shorter, perhaps the greatest living composer in jazz, can take you around the world in 80 minutes of conversation. High-wire discussions spiral through music, comic books, science, film and philosophy in a seeming blink.
Similar to his saxophone playing, Shorter is highly associative, with one phrase or idea leading to another, sometimes directly, at others in sideways patterns or leaps of discursive thought or sounds.
But certain patterns and themes emerge in the life and work of a master artist whose compositions enlivened groups led by Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and others in the 1960s, and whose co-leadership of Weather Report in the 1970s helped define the sound of an era.
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