Beauty and the Beast – 1986
A stirring solo by Shorter on soprano
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In 1986 soprano and tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter was at one of the cross roads of his career.
Weather Report was breaking up and Shorter was freelancing, playing and recording with a variety of artists including Bobby McFerrin and Michel Petrucciani.
He was in the process of recording the Phantom Navigator album with a large ensemble but did not have a regular working group, however his improvisations were as lively and original as always.
On this version of his “Beauty And The Beast,” performed in Pori, Finland in 1986, Shorter (who was 53) is featured on soprano leading a unit that included pianist-keyboardist Mitch Forman, electric bassist Gary Willis, and drummer Tom Brechtlein.
The music grooves in its own way (a little like Weather Report) with Shorter (who is interviewed during the first three minutes) playing free on soprano and sounding personal and passionate.