Review Summary: An exciting performance by an illustrious line-up of musicians.Sorcerer
is the third album composed by Miles' second great quintet. A line up that features some of Jazz's most illustrious musicians such as, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and drummer Tony Williams. The musical approaches in Sorcerer reflect some of the familiar characteristics that made this quintet so distinguishable. For example, their performances often exhibited an intense improvisational atmosphere and experimental tendencies that became known as "freebop", as they deviated from the orthodox "chord-change" style of Bebop for a modal technique. In Bebop, musicians use chords that repeat throughout the whole song, providing a background for the solo, which often consists of improvised notes over the repeated chord progression. Modal Jazz, as it has been defined, introduces a rhythmic flexibility that allows musicians to improvise under a more relaxed harmonic constraint.
Songs like "Prince Of Darkness"
and "The Sorcerer"
, share a similar aesthetic in their orchestral structures. Both pieces open with a demonstration of the electrifying synergy between Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter, as the wind sections establish their dominance over the rest of the instruments, erupting with a release of spontaneous energy. We can really see these musicians feeding off each others' creativity, with Miles' trumpet playing countermelodies with Wayne's tenor saxophone, as well as producing other exhilarating rhythmic variations. Each piece is a different voyage, but as we descend further into the music, we find ourselves arriving to a similar destination. As we make our way to the climax, Herbie Hancock bombards us with a set of piano solos, each following their own pace and expressing different moods.
is yet another grandeur performance on this album, exhibiting an abstract musical landscape. The instrumentation follows a versatile structure, containing moments of both delicacy and aggression. Of course, each musician certainly gets their chance to display their musical dexterity in this particular piece, but Tony Williams' drumming truly stands out in "Limbo"
. His percussive rhythms are vigorous and dynamic, helping to add a sense of chaotic adrenaline to the music. There is definitely a high level of energy produced by most of the songs in Sorcerer, but the album also contains its moments of more relaxing tempos. The melancholic expressions of "Vonetta"
is certainly one of the highlights of the album. The coalescence of the piano and wind sections provide a very smooth texture, one that alleviates the senses with a calming soundscape. In the end, Sorcerer proves to be an exciting album filled with some very mesmerizing musicianship. There's an exceptional amount of impromptu maneuvering going on in this album, and because of its modal influence, there's a vast array of rhythms and melodies that seem to fluctuate under their own agendas. But to really enjoy the genius of this performance, try not to concern yourself with the form of the music. It’s simply better to just lose yourself in the anarchical nature of it all, and simply take in all of the notes that radiates from the instrument of each musician. This is honestly a must have for fans of Miles Davis.