Happy 50th Anniversary to Wayne Shorters 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 doesnt 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. Its no great surprise then that the Long Play Love column will celebrate many staples of Blue Notes 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 Shorters 11-album Blue Note tenure that spanned from 1964 to 1970. The subdued, lilting swing of Shorters compositions coupled with the quintets effortless symbiosis make for a thoroughly gratifying listen, one that showcases Shorters 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 albums 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 Shorters prolific, still-going-strong career.
My Favorite Song: Infant Eyes
BUY Wayne Shorter – Speak No EvilStream Here: