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Et Cetera (1965)

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Wayne Shorter

Recorded in 1965 but not released until 1980, Et Cetera holds its own against the flurry of albums Wayne Shorter released during the mid-'60s, a time when he was at the peak of his powers. It is hard to imagine why Blue Note might have chosen to shelve the album, as it shows Shorter in a very favorable light with an incredibly responsive rhythm section performing four of his originals and a cover of Gil Evans' "Barracudas." The low-key nature of the album as a whole, especially the title track, might have contributed to Blue Note's lack of attention, but there are definitely gems here, especially the closing track, "Indian Song." At times the rest of the album seems like a warm-up for that amazing tune, where Shorter swirls around in a hypnotizing dance with Herbie Hancock's piano, grounded by the nocturnal bass of Cecil McBee and the airy structure of Joe Chambers' drumming. The short, repetitive themes and passionate, soulful playing echo John Coltrane, but this quartet has its own flavor, and the perfect, intricate web they weave here helps pull the whole session up to a higher level. ~ Stacia Proefrock