Live At the Detroit Jazz Festival (Live) [feat. Leo Genovese]
In some ways akin to his late-career quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade, Wayne Shorter revisits and abstracts some earlier material with this all-star unit in a live set from 2017. The group focuses mainly on Shorter repertoire from the ’80s and ’90s, like “Someplace Called ‘Where’” (originally sung by Dianne Reeves on Joy Ryder), “Endangered Species” from Atlantis (with new lyrics by Esperanza Spalding), and “Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair” from High Life. This was fusion-oriented material that jazz critics at the time tended to dismiss. Shorter was ahead of the curve, however, and time has been kind to this adaptable body of work. With Spalding on bass and vocals, her longtime collaborator Leo Genovese on piano, and veteran Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Shorter probes on tenor and soprano saxes as he opens up the songs’ melodies and forms in extended reflections that reveal secrets within. Carrington played on the original “Someplace Called ‘Where,’” as did the late Geri Allen (composer of the knotty and concise “Drummers Song”), which makes the encounter all the more meaningful. Milton Nascimento’s “Encontros e Despedidas” rounds out the set.