February 19, 2015

Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye (1965)


The All Seeing Eye is the odd one out in Wayne Shorter's mid-60s Blue Note discography. His other recordings from this time period are all saxophone quartets or quintets focused on Shorter's subversive melodic quests in the form of modal jazz. On The All Seeing Eye, however, Shorter is backed by three additional horns. This could have been a real disaster for a musician that didn't know what they were doing. The septet touches on many styles of jazz--bop, blues, modal, free, and even some hints of big band. Fueled by Shorter's spiritual vision, The All Seeing Eye effortlessly traverses these styles. The band's coordination is remarkable considering its size and the musical variation. This album has a primal feel that's personified by Hubbard and Moncur's low growls, Ron Carter's free bass solo (meant to illustrate the conception of living things of the Earth), while Shorter and Hancock shroud the whole thing in an airy mysticism.

Sample

The All Seeing Eye