Wayne Shorter (featuring Elvin Jones): Juju




Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)


Juju (Blue Note 4182)

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Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by Wayne Shorter


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 3, 1964


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Elvin Jones's superior use of tension-building, repeated triplets works especially well in tunes in 3/4 time. While some drummers feel less comfortable in this time signature and stick to repetitive waltz patterns, Jones's over-the-barline triplets that conclude with an occasional, powerful "bomb" result in open, playful 3/4 grooves that remind listeners of anything but a traditional jazz waltz.

This Wayne Shorter composition is a primary example of Jones's experimentation within a 3/4 framework. Notice the nontraditional rim-clicks and hi-hat foot used to build tension here. While these two elements are usually the most static part of a jazz groove, Jones varies his rim-click attacks and alternates them with snare drum hits to create contrasting textures within the groove. And because there are choices to be made as to where to place the hi-hat foot downbeat in 3/4 time anyway, Jones constantly moves the hi-hat foot around, adding a rolling and tumbling aspect to his already unpredictable groove.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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