Alternate Takes Week #7: Album For the Week

Wayne Shorter's Native Dancer

This is hands down thee best album from Wayne Shorter of this era, and one of my favorites in my entire library.  It features sensational Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento, who contributes his songwriting and/or performing to half of the album.  The album also includes compositions from Shorter like the beautiful “Ana Maria,” and Herbie Hancock’s “Joanna’s Theme.”  It is a brilliant Brazilian-jazz-funk infused project that is the perfect example of how these type of fusions should be done — and that is..without over thinking it!  I’m sure it was thought out conceptually, but honestly, this is just a bad-ass collection of tunes and artists.  The album also features Airto Moreira, Roberto Silva, and others.  The album opens with the now-classic “Ponta De Areia” (which was covered nicely by bassist Esperanza Spalding on her second release Esperanza.)  It moves on with the funk-groove based “Beauty and the Beast” and includes lovely ballads from Shorter, Hancock and Nascimento, and also includes the gorgeous “Miracle of the Fishes” which is the prize of the album for me.  All in all, a phenomenal, front-to-back masterpiece.  HIGHLY recommend.

2 responses to “Alternate Takes Week #7: Album For the Week

  1. Another great choice … Native Dancer is undoubtedly the perfect world fusion album. My heart still ponds relentlessly when I hear Shorter play, this versatile visionary is probably the best composers and saxophonist in this genre. Joining him on this effort are a cast of supreme of players, they help Shorter take “Native” into a new dimension sonically and artistically. Rob

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