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The Soothsayer [RVG]
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); James Spaulding (alto saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); McCoy Tyner (piano); Ron Carter (bass); Tony Williams (drums).
  • Producer: Alfred Lion.
  • Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
  • Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 4, 1965. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna.
  • Personnel: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); James Spaulding (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); McCoy Tyner (piano); Tony Williams (drums).
  • Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
  • Liner Note Authors: Michael Cuscuna; Bob Blumenthal.
  • Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (03/04/1965).
  • Photographer: Francis Wolff.
  • Arranger: Wayne Shorter.
  • With THE SOOTHSAYER, Wayne Shorter fronts a large ensemble for the first time in his solo endeavors. Like his previous sessions, Shorter's assorted guests are drawn from the most notable groups of the time. McCoy Tyner from Coltrane's quartet, rhythm-mates Ron Carter and Tony Williams from Shorter's employer Miles Davis, and Freddie Hubbard who shared horn duties with the saxophonist in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers are all present, producing a huge sound lead by Shorter's artistic vision. Also on board is alto saxophonist James Spaulding who is the perfect compliment to Shorter's eclectic tenor.
  • SOOTHSAYER is the fourth Blue Note session for Shorter and his mature style is clearly developed here. His unique sense of melody in the modal style of the '60s is evident from the opening "Lost," featuring expressive solo interludes that glide over a floating waltz. Williams shines, as usual, on up-tempo numbers like the whirling "Angola" and the quirky title track, masterfully shaping the grooves like a sculptor. A beautiful respite comes with the exquisite "Lady Day" for the great Billie Holiday, featuring stunning work by Tyner. Finally, the session closes on an interesting note with Shorter's arrangement of Sibelius' "Valse Triste."
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The group's potent synergy is most evident on 'Angola' and the pulsating title track."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.87) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] tremendously exciting sextet session recorded in 1965....Shorter is surrounded by some incredible sidemen: McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, James Spalding, Ron Carter and Tony Williams."
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