Wayne Shorter: Tom Thumb


Tom Thumb


Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)


Schizophrenia (Blue Note BST 84297)

Buy Track


Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), James Spaulding (alto sax), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Joe Chambers (drums).

Composed by Wayne Shorter


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 10, 1967


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

Blue Note albums from the '60s abound in long-form variations on the blues, and Wayne Shorter’s loping, riff-based “Tom Thumb” is an offbeat extension of that tradition. Of course, Shorter and his bandmates are never content to merely deliver a funky dance track. While the melody is relatively straightforward, the improvisations are thrilling in their interplay and creativity. The leader’s tenor is guttural and penetrating from the outset of his solo, his stuttering phrases and melodic asides toying with but never wholly obliterating the bluesy essence of his statements. Hancock is, of course, totally captivating, delivering a dense yet infectiously rhythmic statement that is a perfect sendoff for the slithering, emotive cry of James Spaulding’s alto.

Reviewer: Matt Miller

If you liked this track, also check out

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)


Comments are closed.