The Jazzcat

Wayne’s World and Winds at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

by on Dec.28, 2008, under News

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a pretty special place to behold. There is beauty in sound and architecture but to see genius music performed takes the occasion to the apex of experiences. Tonight composer Wayne Shorter will perform with his band and the Imani Winds, which has got to be one of the most premier sights to witness.

The Winds approach the stage visually colorful in anticipation of the brilliant combination of sounds that we are about to experience. Shades of accentuating curvy satin sustain the tonal breeze behind clarinets, oboe and flute along with the brotha in the suit with the French horn.

These are the Imani Winds and as usual their sound tells the stories; playful, fleeting, long toned and staccato in character as each individual instrument speaks in the play that is the music. It is unusual to see such a spectacular array of diverse instrumentation creating, blending and acting together. The visions of music actually force your mind to travel to new islands as appose to relying on familiar images to resonate with. Like a good drama, inquisitions and perplexions are answered as more of the music is revealed. I love when new partnerships create new possibilities, new flavors and insight new emotions. The music is like different cultures coming together in a classical setting to musically discuss how we all can contribute our talents to the healing of the universe; the ‘Superfriends” of the music.

When you are witness to music in this type of environment, you actually have a opportunity to hear and better appreciate the crisp clarity of each of the sound distinctions and how their calls illicit responses that connect and intermingle with each other. The Imani Winds reside in NYC and this is their first time here at the Walt Disney Concert hall here in Los Angeles and how apropos to be able to celebrate 75 years of wonderful compositions from “The All Seeing Eye”, Wayne Shorter.

The Winds perform Wayne’s  “Tera Incognito”, as a birthday dedication taking liberties to explore the windows of adventure while dynamically altering the precision and outcome of the piece. The harmony of these particular instruments allows the individuality to have such a strong voice. The clashes between the registers are distinct and the stated notes come off shining with brilliant classical intention. They perform two pieces before gracious bows and a stage reconfiguration where quartet imagination meets the “Winds” of imagination!

In much the same manner, the great Wayne Shorter approaches the music from four individual points of power, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade, using the intense dynamic artistic integrity of each pole to sonically create an intersection cerebral wave magnitude. Musically these waves translate into artificial soprano intelligence, dancing lines, breathing rhythms and warm resonations!

This is a band of leaders, each sharing a common bond and pursuing sound into the stratosphere and “Beyond the Sound Barrier”. The space exploration discovery encounters jewels, notes and all kinds of treasure excavations that are brought in to the mix, analyzed and used for their positive energetic outcome on the music. Each member of the quartet surfs on space and has the best time sailing across the galaxies splashing us with uncharted complex carbohydrates that breakdown in our atmosphere as cerebral nutrients positively and organically stimulating the senses.

Time is Wayne’s signature and his forage into new and expansive universes is always wrapped in the theory that sound is knowledge and knowledge is infinite so there are no limits to what one can do with the music. How does it all seem to make so much sense? Wayne has been delivering gifts to the world for the last six decades and not just in the form of extraordinary talent. The sound, the melody, the use of space, the articulation and the foresight to make us think and figure out the equation all while sparking brain cells and stimulating emotions actually contributes to our health as human beings.

When you listen to the music, the transition between compositions sometimes are done so gingerly that you don’t even detect that you have been delivered to another place. They are sheets of suites tucking us into cozy consciousness!

Patitucci sets up some intense bass interludes that optimistically open the pathways to this plane of peace. It is layers deep and most folks have a hard time getting there but listening to this band slowly emerges you into a cerebral solitude. As you are suspended there in contemplation, spinning in revolutions by Wayne’s soft breezes, dancing with Danilo’s delights and resonating of Patitucci’s bow, you are awakened by Blades’ thunder! Encapsulated and focused entirely on self, the music helps you with your individual meaning, refocuses you purpose and builds you back to your original state. Cleansed after you were so bogged down with the downloaded software of the world.

The Imani Winds join the stage and they are all seated along with Wayne in a row for what will certainly continue to be a beautiful experience. Wayne starts to joke with the horn sitting next to him and the silent laughter sparks smiles among the all of the Winds. It changes the atmosphere from this silent intenseness of the audience starring at the stage to a warm comfortable confidence that say’s, “Wait until they hear this!”

This collective is much more free and more dynamic in sound but with an undertow of solid rhythm taking it and pushing the music to the do or die edge. Blade and Patitucci’s energy fuel Wayne’s creations all over a bed of melodic Danilo gardens! This is a rocket charted for the unknown and taking us there fast. The exercise in solitude was to clear our minds of all pre-conceived rhythms, melodies and harmonies; space training for mystical journeys.

The trio is so super solid. The play, the joy and the dance around the meters are just as much of a pleasure to watch as they are to hear and feel. The sonic is so pristine and the Walt Disney Concert Hall was the launching pad.

Each word, note and phrase by Wayne is a quote in life and in music. Wayne creates lines between lines squeezing in the cracks and crevices not searching, but, following his own breadcrumbs back from Destiny. Mentally he has already been there and this is our opportunity to get a ticket to ride. The Imani Winds and Wayne blow some combinations that touch of the sweet spot of sound. Creative complex prime musical integers that all add up to one musically unique experience!

LeRoy Downs

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