#LongPlayLove: Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil – Celebrating 50 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM]

IMAGE_soulhead_long_play_love_wayne_shorter_speak_no_evil_12_24_64By Justin Chadwick | @justin_chadwick

Happy 50th Anniversary to Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil, originally recorded December 24, 1964.

Commemorating its 75th anniversary this year with an extensive vinyl reissue program, preeminent jazz label Blue Note Records boasts a catalog of recordings that is unfathomably deep and perennially impressive. And beyond the amazing music on offer, I imagine you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate – or, in my case, adore – the gorgeous, iconic cover artwork & photography that are so distinctively Blue Note. Not to mention that Blue Note has provided a treasure trove of songs sampled religiously and reverently by hip-hop producers throughout the years. It’s no great surprise then that the Long Play Love column will celebrate many staples of Blue Note’s rich history in the weeks and months to come.


First up is Wayne Shorter‘s Speak No Evil, recorded fifty years ago on Christmas Eve at the legendary Van Gelder Studio. All iconic figures in their own right, collaborators Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums) joined saxophonist Shorter to produce one of the more cohesive and accessible LPs of Shorter’s 11-album Blue Note tenure that spanned from 1964 to 1970. The subdued, lilting swing of Shorter’s compositions coupled with the quintet’s effortless symbiosis make for a thoroughly gratifying listen, one that showcases Shorter’s masterful command of his instrument, but also elevates the respective strengths of his fellow craftsmen, particularly Hancock.

And while the thematic inspiration for many of the album’s compositions (“Witch Hunt,” “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum,” “Dance Cadaverous”) may be rooted within the eerie realms of the macabre, mystical and occult, the execution of the songs as a whole never sounds dark or foreboding. An essential addition to any jazz collection and an unequivocal highlight of Shorter’s prolific, still-going-strong career.

My Favorite Song: “Infant Eyes”

BUY Wayne Shorter – Speak No EvilStream Here:

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