Wayne Shorter – Juju (1964)

JuJu-Wayne_Shorter

JuJu is the fifth album by Wayne Shorter, recorded and released on Blue Note in 1964, issued as BLP 4182 and BST 84182. The album shows the strong influence of John Coltrane, with whom Shorter had studied as an undergraduate, and whose style is reflected here both in performance and composition: Shorter’s timbre is rather astringent, and his phrases are long and volatile; neither quality is typical of his later work. “Yes or No” is reminiscent harmonically of Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice” from Blue Train; and “House of Jade”, like later Shorter ballads (including “Infant Eyes” from Speak No Evil) is similar in melody and structure to “Naima”. The personnel also reflects Coltrane’s influence, consisting essentially of a version of the latter’s classic quartet, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Reggie Workman on bass (who is mixed very low on this album). The same rhythm section backed Coltrane on the 1961 album Africa/Brass, the title track of which anticipates the title track of this album. By Shorter’s next album, Speak No Evil, recorded later in 1964, the leader’s phrases became briefer, softer, and more rounded, under the influence of Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis, his employer at the time, and Tyner was replaced by Shorter’s Davis bandmate, Herbie Hancock.

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