Wayne Shorter: Joy Ryder
Wayne Shorter (tenor sax, soprano sax)
Beyond The Sound Barrier (Verve B0004518)
Composed by Wayne Shorter.
Recorded: North America, Europe and Asia 2002-2004
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Wayne Shorter’s decision in 2000 to return to an all-acoustic format after years of playing in mostly electrified settings was certainly a turning point in the saxophonist’s career. The quartet, featuring pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, that the saxophonist began touring with turned out to be one of his best, and the resulting music – chronicled on the Footprints-Live and the Grammy-winning Alegria and Beyond The Sound Barrier – is among his most challenging and rewarding. "Joy Ryder" is a mostly improvised selection that pairs Shorter’s acerbic, engaging soprano with the surging, dramatic statements of Danilo Perez. The band holds an underlying pulse through sections of legato and driving swing during the piece’s 11+ minutes, and the pulsing polyrhythms of Blade and the unrelenting force of Patitucci’s bass push Shorter to some of his most thrilling playing on record.
Reviewer: Matt Miller