5 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1970, before focusing on the formation of the pioneering fusion band Weather Report, Wayne Shorter recorded his last two albums for Blue Note (not counting 2013's Without a Net). Moto Grosso Feio wouldn't be released until 1974, but both it and Odyssey of Iska represent the last blast of Shorter's Miles Davis–influenced free-form/avant-garde period. The sax sultan journeys farther than ever on Iska—except for the Bobby Thomas–penned, Brazilian-flavored "Depois o Amor, o Vazio," the tunes are simple sketches that let Shorter, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, vibraphonist David Friedman, original Weather Report drummer Alphonse Mouzon, and the rest of the band flow freely. For all the musicians' unfettered interplay, the moods mostly mirror the titles of the respective tracks ("Storm," "Calm," "Joy," etc.), making for an album that alternates between the furious and the reflective while maintaining a consistently fluid feel. Even the languid vibe of the aforementioned Thomas tune seems completely of a piece with the rest of Shorter's Odyssey.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1970, before focusing on the formation of the pioneering fusion band Weather Report, Wayne Shorter recorded his last two albums for Blue Note (not counting 2013's Without a Net). Moto Grosso Feio wouldn't be released until 1974, but both it and Odyssey of Iska represent the last blast of Shorter's Miles Davis–influenced free-form/avant-garde period. The sax sultan journeys farther than ever on Iska—except for the Bobby Thomas–penned, Brazilian-flavored "Depois o Amor, o Vazio," the tunes are simple sketches that let Shorter, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, vibraphonist David Friedman, original Weather Report drummer Alphonse Mouzon, and the rest of the band flow freely. For all the musicians' unfettered interplay, the moods mostly mirror the titles of the respective tracks ("Storm," "Calm," "Joy," etc.), making for an album that alternates between the furious and the reflective while maintaining a consistently fluid feel. Even the languid vibe of the aforementioned Thomas tune seems completely of a piece with the rest of Shorter's Odyssey.

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