In the years following the end of Weather Report, Shorter continued to work as a soloist with guest groups, to record albums with various combinations of musicians, and to tour with his own aggregations. By this time his many idiosyncratic compositions, which make the unusual and unpredictable seem right, had become classics and were recorded by others and studied in the emerging jazz teaching movement. Sometimes he performed in Miles Davis tribute bands, but he also appeared in unlikely company, as with Joni Mitchell.
Then, eight years ago, he hooked up with the virtuoso young trio of pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade, and began a new chapter in his life, seemingly reinvigorated. These four musicians find endless ways of exploring music in tandem, bending time and harmony, and each performance brings new discoveries. As Shorter once put it, "We don't rehearse, so we're looking at something called zero gravity the music we play is different every night." For their current tour, which comes to Hill Auditorium on Saturday, September 27, they have teamed up with the adventurous Imani Winds, a quintet of classical musicians who have expanded their repertoire to play other kinds of music, and recently commissioned a new composition by Shorter.
[Review published September 2008]