Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade have been three quarters of the extraordinary Wayne Shorter Quartet for more than a decade. Since, they've also continued their individual careers as leaders of their own projects and groups. Now, on Children of the Light, they step forward as a trio for the first time with an imagination and fearlessness in their approach that defies the roles and ways of a trio in both obvious and subtle ways.
"When I gave Wayne a copy of the recording I told him: 'this is for you, Doctor. This is our gift. This is our show of love, care and gratitude for all the lessons'," says Pérez. "The compositions on this recording represent the idea of 'going beyond the music.' That's what he has taught us: to not think about music just in musical terms but as a tool for the betterment of society. It's about creating music that brings people together."
Daring and luminous, often an improbable mix of pointed, questioning turns and childlike joy, the music unfolds with mischievous unpredictability. The 11 tracks include original compositions by all three members of the trio and a fresh take on "Dolores," an old Shorter classic. Pérez, who typically plays acoustic piano, plays a Yamaha CP4 Stage electric piano on his West African-rooted piece "Lumen." Patitucci, who plays here acoustic, five and six-string electric bass, contributes three pieces, including "Ballad for a Noble Man," which features cellist Sachi Patitucci. Drummer and percussionist Blade contributes the soulful "Within Everything," perhaps the closest to a standard song in the program. It's a remarkable balancing act but even as they put their considerable talents to the service of the trio, each of the members maintains his distinct personality.