Web Exclusive! DVD Review: Wayne Shorter Live at Montreux 1996

On this beautifully filmed DVD, legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter leads an all-star quintet through five extraordinary pieces.
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Drummer Rodney Holmes and bassist Alphonso Johnson provide an ultra-tight and funky launching pad for Shorter, keyboardist James Beard, and guitarist David Gilmore to blast off from—and they take full advantage. Gilmore deftly navigates the sophisticated changes with a startling combination of jazz intelligence and rock intensity, sometimes kicking in supercharged tones that push things right to the edge, but without ever losing his control or his cool. If you are unfamiliar with his playing, this DVD provides a good place to start. Perhaps even more impressive than the main performance, however, is the “bonus” footage of Shorter playing “Footprints” and “On the Milky Way Express” with Herbie Hancock and other jazz greats in 1991, and “Pinocchio” and “Pee Wee” with the Miles Davis Tribute Band in 1992. Don’t miss these amazing performances by one of America’s most important composers and musicians. Eagle Rock.—Barry Cleveland