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Speak No Evil (Remastered w/ Bonus CD) (Vinyl)

5.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • LP Record (Jan. 27 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B001G5ZNFU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

For this 1964 journey of jazz discovery, the tenor-sax adventurer brought with him Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter and Freddie Hubbard. The results were remarkable; a CD-only alternate take of Dance Cadaverous joins the original plus Witch Hunt; Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum; Speak No Evil; Wild Flower , and more!


Wayne Shorter's compositions helped define a new jazz style in the mid-'60s, merging some of the concentrated muscular force of hard bop with surprising intervals and often spacious melodies suspended over the beat. The result was a new kind of "cool," a mixture of restraint and freedom that created a striking contrast between Shorter's airy themes and his taut tenor solos and which invited creative play among the soloists and rhythm section. The band on this 1964 session is a quintessential Blue Note group of the period, combining Shorter's most frequent and effective collaborators. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones merge their talents to create music that's at once secure and free flowing, sometimes managing to suggest tension and calm at the same time. --Stuart Broomer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Audio CD
In the space of only about four years in the mid-1960s, Wayne Shorter put out about 7 albums, any one of which could have revolutionized jazz music. In my view, Speak No Evil is the best of them all (though the competition is incredible). Basically, jazz music entered a new and original phase through Shorter's compositions. In the '30s and '40s, people played swing and then bebop, which were "jazzed up" approaches to standard tunes. The '50s and early '60s saw a period of new jazz composition, and a self-conscious introduction of new styles that were centered around instrumental style rather than around standard tunes. These new styles definitely broke new ground, but they still were mostly built around virtuoso-style improvising that exploited the harmonic possibilities of the chord structure of a song. Though it is obviously indebted to this tradition, Shorter's compositions shifted the focus away from "blowing" and onto the beauty of the compositions. Playing these songs emphasized more the evoking of the appropriate mood and texture rather than just using them as generic platforms for playing the same scales and licks. Basically, these songs invited new forms of exploration--and for that reason they remain some of the most popular songs for contemporary jazz bands to play. This album, Speak No Evil, is a real pleasure to listen to, and that is true the first time and the five-hundredth time. This is one of the tiny handful of albums that can without question be called the greatest in the history of jazz. Everyone should have the pleasure of listening to this album.
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Format: Audio CD
I know what you are thinking, "How could Speak No Evil be underated with all these five star reviews?". I'll tell you how. It's because people rarely put the phrases "Speak No Evil" and "one of the 5 greatest jazz LP's of all time" in the same sentence.
The main reason I think this LP is underated is because its main strength did not lie in amazing solo performances like on LP's such as Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and Coltrane's Love Supreme. The main strength of this album is Shorter's compositional genius. The ability of the band to turn in awesome and memorable performances while at the same time being so reserved and structured is what make this album so wonderful.
The entire LP gets heavy play from me, but I will try to highlight what I think are the it's best offerings. "Dance Cadaverous" is one of the best jazz compositions ever recorded and its alternate take, which is also on this LP, is even more stunning. Shorter and Freddie Hubbard are unbelievable on this track, Hancock's performance on this track is equally unforgettable. As good as "Dance" is the track that made me realize just how amazing Shorter is was "Infant Eyes". Every note on this performance is perfectly placed. Shorter and Hancock are the stars on this one. Everytime I hear Hancock's solo intro, and then Shorter's entrance I fall in love with the track all over again. These two turn in nothing short of brilliant performances.
I could go On and On but I will wrap this up. Get this CD. You can't be serious about jazz and not have this one in your collection.

7 stars for this one no less.
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Format: Audio CD
How can you go wrong, if you have Ron Carter on bass, Hancock on piano, the great Elvin Jones on drums, and on the frontline, Shorter on sax, and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet? But, having a great cast can do nothing if your tunes are mediocre. Thankfully, Mr.Shorter is, if you ask me, one of Jazz's most underrated composers. His melodies forego the virtuosic flair of hardcore Bebop, instead going for more of a "singable" quality, if you will. The harmony underneath the melodies is considerably more involved and complex. This is sort of his trademark. The lead track, "Witch Hunt", starts with a beautiful, controlled melody, and suddenly, it climaxes to a loud phrase, only to gracefully cascade down again to the original theme. Beautiful. This is what music is all about - emotion, beauty, grace. The title track starts with two ascending notes, loudly and heavily accented, and then keeps a lower note quietly suspended for several beats. I won't analyze each tune, but the point is that Shorter is simply a master of saying a lot without a lot of notes. It goes without saying that the highly interactive rythm section work of Carter, Jones, and Hancock is simply brilliant. They seem to be able to complement anything played by their frontline partners, showing an almost-telepathic musical sense. Unfortunately, we don't get any bass solos, and Ron Carter is definitely a master soloist. By the same token, it wouldn't have hurt to have Jones trading a few solo bars in a couple of tunes, as he is arguably the best jazz drummer ever. Even though they do not get solo space, both Carter's and Jones' contributions are on par with the rest of the musicians, as another reviewer has accurately pointed out. Their playing goes beyond mere support - it's as beautiful and expressive as any solo.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Enough said? No, I'm afraid I can't help but gush about my favorite jazz album.
I can't figure why this album seems to sometimes be lumped in with the "avant-garde", because all of it is eminently listenable. In fact, perhaps what makes this record so uniquely great is how consistently accessible and ear-pleasing it is, yet never shallow, commercial or boring. The tunes are uniformly fantastic, the charts always interesting, and the playing is wonderfully subtle and dynamic all around; perfect moments of musical interaction abound. Shorter's prowess as a composer is amply documented on his many great albums, perhaps never more so than on _Speak No Evil_. Highlights include the irresistibly swinging "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum", the intriguingly geometric and mysterious "Dance Cadaverous", and the breathtakingly gorgeous ballad "Infant Eyes".
Wayne Shorter mixed-and-matched a lot with his ensembles as a leader, never recording an album with the same band twice, leading bands anywhere from a quartet to a sextet (and the odd octet). But on _Speak No Evil_ he seems to have hit on the perfect band for his music. All props and praise to McCoy Tyner, who also recorded a lot with Wayne, but Herbie Hancock, with his inimitable subtleties and tonal shadings, is the perfect pianist to accompany Wayne. Elvin Jones on drums is a welcome addition to any lineup, needless to say. He really accentuates and underlines the *swing* inherent in the tunes here. The bright tone and spry exuberance of Freddie Hubbard on trumpet is a perfect counterpoint to Shorter's somewhat melancholy lyricism. Ron Carter anchors the bass quite admirably with a lot of nice touches of syncopation, but he's not as noticeable as he would later be with the Miles Davis Quintet.
I just can't say enough about this CD. It is gorgeous, it is stunning, it is perfect jazz.
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