Wayne Shorter
Juju


4.5
superb

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (122 Reviews)
July 12th, 2017 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Discipline and instinct..

JuJu came to be during a period of great ascent for Wayne Shorter. Championed by Coltrane, he had recently been lured away from Art Blakey by Miles Davis to form a revitalized second coming of the Quintet. He quickly distinguished himself within the Quintet, and was known as the one composer whose arrangements the compulsive Davis almost never tweaked and re-strung. He’d stay alongside Davis for years, through hard- and post-bop and the first dives into fusion, cooking up an incredibly varied solo career along the way. The instantly recognizable soprano sax that builds the understated effusion on In A Silent Way signaled Shorter’s own move into more experimental and boundary-less set.

The record was his second for Blue Note, following Night Dreamer, and though there was little time separating the two albums, the chasm of maturity and personality developing between the two is starkly audible. Less airy and plaintive than Dreamer, JuJu captured an indelible mid-point between doe-eyed and purposeful, as brimming with detached idealism as it was with a posteriori insight.

Despite the fact that comparisons to his teacher and mentor Coltrane swirled around him in perpetuity, by the time JuJu was taking shape, Shorter was already establishing his own sound. And though the scarcity of scales he was using leant heavily towards Coltrane’s optative mood patterns, he managed to slip in plenty of the kind of volatile and yet controlled complexity that more daring composers like Monk were plying around the same period. Still, it’s hard not to notice the tonal similarities the tenor sax carries on “House of Jade,” a piece that’s waist-deep in Coltrane’s patented sound of calcified sentimentality.

“Twelve Bars to Go” and “JuJu” provide a much better showing of Shorter’s fingerprint. He partially moves out of a pointedly romantic mode, and lets the pieces breathe in chaotic binaries. Rich in alternating sustained tones and airtight, pentatonic soloing, this was Shorter’s proper claim as an arranger of his own, one that abandoned his mentor’s extravagant exercises in emotion for more nuanced and temperamental territory. His tenure as a music director with Art Blakey had also clearly brushed off on him, and he lets Elvin Jones, on-lend from Coltrane, go percussion-drunk here.

Reggie Workman’s double bass work is worthy of especial note. Meaty, and tautly in control, it forms JuJu’s backbone, letting Shorter, Jones and Tyner spread their shoulders fully.

Shorter would go on recording for Blue Note, all the while helping Davis expand where jazz’ edges, already in chronic fluctuation, could go. By the time Speak No Evil came around, he’d shape his own quintet, with Hancock and Hubbard joining him. In 1969, he’d be keeping in step with Davis, his Super Nova staking its claim as a fusion masterwork. But much like with Davis, JuJu captures a moment of inimitable, early modernist clarity for Shorter, carving a new id within an established mode.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

there we go.. another glaring jazz hole filled..

Digging: Geto Boys - The Geto Boys

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


24204 Comments


two reviews in a day?? I-i mean...nevermind (;

need to jazzucate myself asap. only know a couple classics

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2017


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Better get a move on before he sets his eyes on conquering Sun Ra

Digging: Nina Simone - Wild is the Wind

AsleepInTheBack
July 12th 2017


5876 Comments


Stellar as always mate. Don't know how you keep up this pace, but props to ya

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not fucking with that volume, Frip..



cheers, Asleep and Con (haha)..

SandwichBubble
July 12th 2017


8398 Comments


proving you earned that ᴄᴏɴᴛʀɪʙᴜᴛᴏʀ tag

Digging: Marika Papagika - Marika Papagika Vol. 1: Recordings 1918-1929

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


24204 Comments


he proved he was contrib level 20 reviews ago imo

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so many bribes and murders had to happen for me to become a contrib.. i still see the faces at night,,

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


24204 Comments


it's a rough initiation that's for sure :/

SandwichBubble
July 12th 2017


8398 Comments


called it by review #12: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/73394/Wire-Silver-Lead/

Shadowmire
July 12th 2017


4591 Comments


great one

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SandwichBubble - both precious and prescient..

SandwichBubble
July 12th 2017


8398 Comments


I'm 1:1,012,010 on the correct predictions front. I'm just glad it was that prediction that came true ❤❤❤

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


24204 Comments


I thought I predicted it early on this one when he was getting rando negs: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?reviewid=73972&page=2#comments

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought I predicted it! when I didn't mention it way back when - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/74257/Wayne-Shorter-Juju/

MotokoKusanagi
July 12th 2017


1616 Comments


nice to see a wayne shorter review

SandwichBubble
July 12th 2017


8398 Comments


You think you're all that? Well I predicted it here so there: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/∞234👖/Future-butcher-boy-review-probably-the-new-Fall-album-w/e/

theBoneyKing
July 12th 2017


15681 Comments


Great review butch. I'm baffled at how you can you produce such high quality reviews at such a high rate.

Digging: Low - Things We Lost in the Fire

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


9127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Boney, it's because I am actually a small scared man with too much time on his hands, trapped in a small barren room with a thesaurus and a phonograph..



Sandwich, o yea, well I predicted this!! : http;//wwww.sputnikmusic.com/final-verdict/35423/SandwichBubble-declared-nicest-contrarian-ever//

SandwichBubble
July 12th 2017


8398 Comments


Can't wait for my posthumous award in 2102

Also, i should listen to some Shorter sometime soon



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