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To paraphase a line from The Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to those crusty critics who would have you believe Wayne Shorter’s post-Miles Davis Quintet career has been one long electric-based compositional and improvisational tragedy after another. True, Shorter has occasionally lost himself amidst the technical overkill of his former Weather Report colleagues, bassist Jaco Pastorius and keyboardist Joe Zawinul, but the brilliance the Newark, N.J., native brought to dates led by Miles or Art Blakey, as well as to his own acoustic classics like “Super Nova,” remains intact throughout High Life. On this collection, Shorter’s tenor and soprano saxes essay new pieces, such as the title selection and “Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair,” with strikingly subtle nuance and phrasing. It recalls the finesse of actors in aShakespearian effort rather than the extended blowing sessions so beloved by Shorter’s older fans. In fact, despite the presence of bassist-producer Marcus Miller, keyboardist Rachel Z, and drummer Terri Lynne Carrington (among others), it is damn foolish to spend one’s time frisking High Life’s supple, pensive, and lyrical settings for hints of what is currently—and narrowly—referred to as “jazz.” (And what does that word mean in 1995?) To do so is to miss out on the sublime interplay present in the strongest material in the collection, which lovingly illustrates Shorter’s continued growth as a creator of some of the most unclichéd and picturesque music written by an American composer since the death of Duke Ellington.