November 15, 2011
Sony BMG
Jazz, Fusion, Crossover Jazz, Electric Jazz

Album Review

This set is an oddity in the Complete Columbia Albums series in that it goes beyond Wayne Shorter's solo albums for the label. In fact, it provides a service to his catalog that is virtually singular. Its first two discs are devoted to all of his compositions for Weather Report. Most of what is here from the WR years is revelatory in terms of Shorter's aesthetic, which differed -- often radically -- from Joe Zawinul's. Check "The Moors," "Eurydice," or "Non-Stop Home" from the early years, and "Swamp Cabbage" and "Face on the Barroom Floor" from the later ones; all are consistent, excellent examples of electric jazz. Of the four solo albums here -- Native Dancer, Atlantis, Phantom Navigator, and Joy Ryder -- it is the first, Native Dancer, a collaboration with Brazilian vocalist Milton Nascimento and pianist Herbie Hancock from 1974, that is the most satisfying. While few would argue that his remaining solo recordings for Columbia -- all of which were cut after he left WR -- were somewhat disappointing for someone of his pedigree, the argument can be made that many of the compositions are in and of themselves lovely, but their faults lie -- at least in part -- with the production techniques of late '80s and '90s. Many of the performances, particularly on Atlantis, are indeed rewarding when reconsidered. Given the price tag, and unless one owns all of WR's recordings, this is a set with significant historic importance. If only Blue Note, a label where most of Shorter's seminal solo recordings were issued, would do the same thing.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Tears
  2. Eurydice
  3. The Moors
  4. Surucucu
  5. Manolete
  6. Non-Stop Home
  7. Mysterious Traveler
  8. Blackthorn Rose
  9. Lusitanos
  10. Freezing Fire
  11. Elegant People
  12. Three Clowns
  13. Harlequin
  14. Palladium
  15. The Elders
  16. Sightseeing
  17. Port of Entry
  18. When It Was Now
  19. Plaza Real
  20. Predator
  21. Swamp Cabbage
  22. Pearl on the Half Shell
  23. Face on the Barroom Floor
  24. Ponta de Areia
  25. Beauty and the Beast
  26. Tarde
  27. Miracle of the Fishes
  28. Diana
  29. From the Lonely Afternoons
  30. Ana Maria
  31. Lilia
  32. Joanna's Theme
  33. Endangered Species
  34. The Three Marias
  35. The Last Silk Hat
  36. When You Dream
  37. Who Goes There!
  38. Atlantis
  39. Shere Khan, the Tiger
  40. Crianças
  41. On the Eve of Departure
  42. Condition Red
  43. Mahagony Bird
  44. Remote Control
  45. Yamanja
  46. Forbidden, Plan-It!
  47. Flagships
  48. Joy Ryder
  49. Cathay
  50. Over Shadow Hill Way
  51. Anthem
  52. Causeways
  53. Daredevil
  54. Someplace Called "Where"