Wayne Shorter: Mephistopheles




Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)


The All Seeing Eye (Blue Note BST 84219)

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Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Joe Chambers (drums), Grachan Moncur III (trombone),

Alan Shorter (flugelhorn)


Composed by Wayne Shorter


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ., October 15, 1965


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Equally rich in inspired performances and brilliant arrangements, The All Seeing Eye is a standout in Wayne Shorter’s impressive '60s oeuvre. "Mephistopheles," the album’s final track, is a creative high-water mark that features Shorter’s dazzlingly dissonant writing for an augmented horn section and a series of arresting improvisations by the leader, trumpeter and sibling Alan Shorter, and drummer Joe Chambers. Built around a hypnotic ostinato that continues throughout the seven-minute track, the head is a grating sendoff for Shorter, whose creativity is never bound by the piece’s harmonic stasis. Shorter and company develop their improvisations in surprising ways, exploiting the melodic and rhythmic possibilities inherent in the song’s open structure, and never resolve the suspense that grips the piece.

Reviewer: Matt Miller

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Related Links

In Conversation with Wayne Shorter by Bob Blumenthal
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Wayne Shorter Performances by Matt Miller

”Wayne Shorter” by Matt Miller (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)


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