Jazztopad celebrates it's 10th edition and it's hard to immagine a more fitting introduction to the festival. Wayne Shorter and his cohorts - Danilo Perez, John Pattitucci and Brian Blade form a group that for over a decade remains one of the most exciting in modern jazz. The empathic connection they've developed, they spontaneity, the mututal appreciation and respect - it is all there, palpable. The group developed musical language of communication where, at a short hint, a music can go in any possible direction, non unlike the Miles's groups where the setlist was pretty much made up as they went .
Blade is simply brilliant behind the drums - in control of the vivid pulse all the time, Pattitucci's bass gives the harmonic support, gracefull and elegant, Perez flight through the piano keys exchanging dynamic chord attacks and lyrical arpeggios. And then there's Shorter who for most parts of the evening limits himself to play short phrases and hint-lines. In fact Wayne seems quite happy when he listens to, with the rest of the audience, to the three musicians around him. While it might have seemed an off-night, he still can play your hats off on soprano, and the distinct sound he gets on the instrument is like a glimpse into jazz greatness.
In comparison to the Warsaw concert, the one in Wroclaw was much more joyfull, it had more funky smile to it, the musicians clearly enjoying themselves, laughing on stage. It's inspiring to see that having played together for over the decade these guys can still, well, inspire each other and you can seem this on their faces as, after a particularly brilliant phrase, they look at each other with surprised faces that say "Oh Man! that was bad (in a good way)!". And even the zen master Wayne have raised an eyebrow a few times, a teacher among crazy teenagers. As the band, almost reluctanctly, left the stage after a second encore (in fact, they would play the coda twice, it was just too much fun) the audience is left with the "wow" feeling while your humble correspondent is left with the "how the f. can I put that into words" feeling.
As they say one picutre can say more than 1000 words, how about a video?
Here's the encore piece "Adventures aboard the Golden Mean"
or better yet the entire set at Jazz a Vienne
Wayne Shorter Quartet at Wroclaw Philharmony. Jazztopad festival 14.11.2013
Wayne Shorter - tenor sax, soprano sax
Danilo Perez - piano
John Patitucci - double bass
Brian Blade - drums