It’s the long time Wayne Shorter quartet…without Shorter. On the mysteriously beautiful and wholly accessible Children Of The Light (Mack Avenue), pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade take lessons learned and apply them to an 11-track all-original hour (except for a loving remake of Shorter’s “Delores”). Although they’re all leaders in their own right, this is their first trio outing.
Co-producer Perez on acoustic mostly goes tropical for his West-African “Lumen” on which he pounds the Yamaha electric. He’s acoustic for his own “Light Echo,” named after an existing astronomy phenomenon but also meaning how Shorter’s very soul echoes through these tracks. Patitucci positively dazzles throughout on both electric and acoustic bass. His “Ballad For A Noble Man” makes great use of Sachi Patitucci’s cello. Blade’s “Within Everything” is a beautiful song crying out for lyrics not yet written.
Of course, they all masterfully improvise, but, according to promotional materials using Perez as the band spokesman, they like to call what they do “comprovise” (spontaneous composition) “with dense harmonic and melodic forms.” Perez first played with Patitucci and Blade on his groundbreaking 2000 Motherland. With the release of Children Of The Light (a take-off on Shorter’s 1961 “Children of the Night” from Mosaic by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers), their mission is to “continue the Shorter school” using the “language he created.”
As for Shorter himself, who contributed to the liner notes, he’s a robust 82, still performing, still writing and still vital.
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