everybodydigs#105 Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Wayne Shorter’s compositions helped define a new jazz style in the mid-’60s, merging some of the concentrated muscular force of hard bop with surprising intervals and often spacious melodies suspended over the beat. The result was a new kind of “cool,” a mixture of restraint and freedom that created a striking contrast between Shorter’s airy themes and his taut tenor solos and which invited creative play among the soloists and rhythm section. The band on this 1964 session is a quintessential Blue Note group of the period, combining Shorter’s most frequent and effective collaborators. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones merge their talents to create music that’s at once secure and free flowing, sometimes managing to suggest tension and calm at the same time. –Stuart Broomer

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#104 Weather Report – Heavy Weather

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter didn’t truly fulfill Weather Report’s artistic and commercial potential until they brought on-board a bassist who could function as an equal partner in the musical equation, like co-founder Miroslav Vitous, whose main shortcoming was his inability to play funk. In renegade bassist Jaco Pastorius, the band found a formidable composer and improvisor, who possessed deep roots in funk and R&B, yet was equally at home in modern jazz and Afro-Cuban settings. Not coincidentally, the presence of this innovative fretless bassist on Heavy Weather gave Weather Report the rhythmic/melodic dimension it had been missing since Vitous’s departure, as evidenced by his voice-like declamations on Zawinul’s ballad “A Remark You Made.” On Zawinul’s chart-topping, big band-styled arrangement of “Birdland,” Pastorius provided the kind of big, sweeping orchestral gestures the tune required, while on the shifting canvas of Wayne Shorter’s “Harlequin,” the bassist’s ability to articulate complex chords allowed him to function as a string section unto himself. And on his own “Havona,” Pastorius not only soloed with horn-like artistry, but combined with drummer Alex Acuna and percussionist Manolo Badrena to give Weather Report its funkiest rhythm section ever. –Chip Stern

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#103 Woody Shaw – Blackstone Legacy

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Blackstone Legacy is the first instance of Woody Shaw stepping into the position of bandleader in the recording studio, something long overdue at the time. With a handpicked ensemble, Shaw was given total creative freedom, and the result is a landmark. His intention was to portray various sociopolitical dramas then being played out, from the ghettos of his youth to the war in Vietnam. That intention is clear in the complex energy exchanged between the horns and in Lenny White’s driving, polyrhythmic drumming.

Compositions by Shaw, such as the title track, are alive with urgency and exploration. His trumpet is warm and fierce as ever and sparkles with all his influences, from Clifford Brown to Lee Morgan. Keyboards player George Cables contributes two fine tunes, “Think On Me” and “New World”; the latter builds from its slow, emotional intro into a funky, rock & roll energy, perfectly reflecting the charged political climate of the early ’70s. Blackstone Legacy was a bold step forward.

Personnel: Woody Shaw (trumpet); Bennie Maupin (flute, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone); Gary Bartz (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); George Cables (piano, electric piano); Lenny White (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

sampleecious#18

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sampleecious#: a post every Friday where i choose just one great track sampled for one or more other great tracks, also you can listen to (when it’s possible) a small preview on the video below, enjoy!

#18: “Been So Long” by Anita Baker from “Rapture” released in 1986 > sampled in > “Zatar” by Metal Fingers from “Special Herbs Vol.1 ” released in 2001.

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