Recorded in Chicago in 1962. Tracks 1 to 8 originally released on Vee Jay LP (SR 3029).
24-bit High Resolution Remastering
The liner notes, the originals of which are included with this reissue, reflect that "this is not experimental jazz." It isn't. It is finely performed mainstream jazz of the era in which it was made. While this recording does not equal the quality of the sessions to be recorded by Shorter later in the decade for Blue Note, it is pleasantly played bop. Shorter's tenor saxophone shows a conservative side, to be sure, and a young Freddie Hubbard hardly takes any chances. Still, the rhythm section anchored by pianist Eddie Higgins and including bassist Jymie Merritt and drummer Marshall Thompson, keeps a solid beat and the results are pleasant enough. Double takes of all but one of the eight charts is included, though there are really not any important substantive differences from the originals. The short recording times of each track limits the solos, but there is nonetheless an attractive simplicity infusing the set. Overall, this does not represent the best work of either Shorter or Hubbard, but it is still an interesting, if non-essential part of the discography of each of them.
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
In all he does within the world of jazz, Wayne Shorter selects his companions with great care and discrimination. In his first Vee jay LP - Introducing Wayne Shorter (Vee jay LP-3006] - he was joined by such first-rate jazzmen as trumpeter Lee Morgan and the rhythm section from Miles Davis' elite unit: pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb. In this follow-up to that worthwhile set, the tenor man is joined by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, one of the most respected of young horn men in current circulation, and a solid rhythm section of pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist James Merritt and drummer Marshall Thompson.
Shorter does not succumb to whim. A serious and sincere musician, he makes his moves judiciously. For this reason, he has turned down more jobs than he's accepted; in fact, for several periods during his career he's token jobs outside of music rather than work with inferior musicians or play music he couldn't endorse.
After spending several years both in and out of jazz, diligently striving to find the "right' slot for himself In music, Wayne landed with Art Blakey's Messengers. The experience, in a setting guaranteed by Blakey to promote individuality, proved to be one of the most rewarding in Wayne's service to jazz. Since he took advantage, eagerly, of the offer to become a Messenger, he's become a firmly authoritative spokesman for the straightforward, uncluttered, basic kind of jazz his playing personifies.
Although his playing bears certain similarities to that of John Coltrane, Wayne's roots extend far beyond Coltrane into the vast mainstream tradition of tenor players. His imagination enables him to create intriguing originals, tailor-made for improvisation, and to select comparably appealing material by other composers. In this outing, four of the tunes are by Wayne: "Devil's Island", "Dead End", "Powder Keg" and "Callaway Went Thaf-A-Woy". One, "Wayning Moments", is by pianist Higgins. "Black Orpheus" is from the score for the film of that name, by Antonio Carlos Jobin and Luis Bonfa; the superb film, by the way, was a 1959 Grand Prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival. "Moon of Manakoora" was written by Frank Loesser and Alfred Newman for the 1937 movie, The Hurricane. "All Or Nothing At AH", composed by Jack Lawrence and Arthur Altman in 1940, was one of the young Frank Sinatra's notable hits.
The performances given these tunes by Shorter and cohorts are not intended to shock the listener through the use of assorted avant garde techniques. This is not experimental jazz. It is as divorced from the Third Stream as the Nile is from the Mississippi. These performances are the work of jazzmen more concerned with improvisation - with freewheeling and unimpeded blowing - than creating impressive intellectual structures. Their's is the world of the soloist. It inspires admiration only in terms ot the accomplishments or the men on hand, their musicianship and their skill in transforming ideas into sound.
From the exotic view of "Black Orpheus" to the swinging gallop of "Callaway Went That-A-Way", with sizzling and balladic stops between, they tell you the way they were feeling and some of the thoughts they had the day they recorded this music. It is unadorned, but fervently probing, jazz. And in its freedom from gimmickry, it is as honest and as direct as jazz can get. As a key to the growth of the individualist in jazz, it is at the very heart of jazz.
- Don Gold