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Juju Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, May 18, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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When Wayne Shorter recorded this date in 1964, he was asserting his own voice as both a saxophonist and a composer after his years with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He's joined here by pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, essential parts of the then dominant John Coltrane Quartet, but Juju serves to emphasize what was distinctive in Shorter's approach as well as the similarities. Though he shared something of Coltrane's twisting line and hard sound, Shorter was far more interested in crafting conventional compositions, and there's a range of everyday emotions to be felt in this music that went untouched in Coltrane's more intense work. Shorter's a master of tension and release, using contrasting elements in a piece, mixing major and minor, consonance and dissonance, and different rhythms to evoke complex moods of doubt and playfulness or constraint and joyous swing. Those structures are a happy fit with Tyner and Jones as well, who can bring their characteristic welling intensity to "Juju," a relaxed bounce to "Yes or No," or a subtle oriental emphasis to "House of Jade." --Stuart Broomer

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 1964
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000IWVU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,099 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By G B on December 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This followup to the excellent Night Dreamer is one of Wayne Shorter's best albums on Blue Note record. It places him in a challenging context: he's the only horn in front of two members and one alumnus of John Coltrane's rhythm section. Any lesser musician would have been smothered by juggernauts like Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner, but Shorter rises to the challenge. And rather than marking him as a Trane disciple, the backing really highlights differences between the two.
The opening track, "Ju Ju", places him in the surging modal groove that this rhythm section had mastered on "My Favorite Things" and "Out of This World"; but Wayne's playing is a bit more quirky and asymmetrical, less dense than that of Elvin and McCoy's boss. "Deluge" and "Mahjong" highlight Shorter's growing ability to convey images or ideas through composition. And his tunes are always completely surprising, taking 90 degree turns where you least expecting them -- the ballad "House of Jade" (beautiful intro by Tyner) is a classic example. "Yes or No" ventures into Coltrane territory in classic Shorter curveball fashion, while "12 More Bars to Go" is a blues with several connotations.
Along with Speak No Evil this is the perfect introduction to Wayne Shorter's solo albums. Great saxophone playing, great sidemen, and great compositions. Who could complain?
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Gray on March 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, JuJu, Wayne's second recording for Blue Note, is not only the best of Wayne's output as a leader, it is perhaps the best jazz album of its era. Since I first discovered the album in the mid-seventies, it has become the most often played album in my collection. Recorded in August, 1964 (the same month he joined Miles' band), this recording has all the requisites of a superb album - Wayne's renowned compositional skills, the leader's soulful, haunting tenor style, and great sidemen. McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones had been playing side by side as members of John Coltrane's quartet for the previous four years, and Reggie Workman also did some time with that quartet in late 1960. Wayne had played often with Reggie with his long stint with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and had many previous encounters with McCoy and Elvin on previous Blue Note sessions as well. In short - this quartet really works well together.
Of the sidemen, Elvin Jones is the most outstanding of the session. His 3-on-4 style is provocative and his cymbal work ingenious. Elvin is a ocean of sound - waves crashing onshore in a stiff breeze. McCoy works very well with Wayne's chord changes - both as an accompanist and soloist. Reggie plays solid throughout.
All of the works are Shorter compositions, and are memorable enough to have been "published" in most of the fake books I've seen. There are no duds. No filler. No standards. Just a collection of some of the greatest jazz compositions and musicianship to be found in one place at one time. The sound is not mainstream, nor avant-garde; its Wayne's unique and original musical style at its very best.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By nadav haber on September 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If we listen to the best Jazz played today, we see that among the many directions suggested in the 1960's, Shorter's way has been the most influential. MOstly through his great work with Miles Davis' second great quintet, but also through his own recordings, Shorter created music that was both inside and outside, had free elements within known forms, and allowed the artists creativity in contexts that still relied on such terms as chords and scales.
In Juju, recorded in 1964, Shorter's sound is dry, heavily influenced by Coltrane. The use Tyner, Jones and Workman adds more weight to the comparison. Shorter reminds me of Coltrane, but his energy is different. With Coltrane you feel that every solo is treated as though it is his last, while Shorter, energetic as he is, saves a little for later.
All tunes are by Shorter, and they are all unique. Tyner and Jones sound as if they really enjoy this one, and push Shorter to give his best. They work really well with workman.
Some may complain that this music is less "listenable" than Somethin' Else (Adderley & Davis) or even "The Sidewinder" (Morgan).
It is true that those masterpieces are hard to compete with, but Juju is a work of daring creative artists in top form, and this kind of work has the tendency to attract the initiated, the "experts" first, while the uninitiated come to it a little later, if they persist.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album. The compositions are all strong and the musicianship intense and of a very high caliber. I`ve had this CD since 1996 and I still listen to it regularly. Elvin Jones fans will find some of his best playing here. One caveat though, the Van Gelder remaster is a mess : Shorter`s sax has gained so much crispness that he sounds like he muted his sax with a box of KFC and the bass is now wobbly and muddled. Get the 1996 CD.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is the real deal. Juju is fiery and yet it's nice. It has some of that same passion that the Coltrane Quartet. Half the members and one alumni contribute much, but that statement wouldn't be true without Wayne Shorter on Tenor.
Check out the title track. Shorter doesn't sound, to me, much like Coltrane. His soloing is more of a sound exploration than Coltrane could be. Coltrane would writhe and twist, while Shorter booms in all sorts of colors of sound. And boy, can he tear. Whew! That track cooks.
The album itself (the rest) is great. Some quirky tunes. Some easy going tunes. Some more explosive ones. Elvin, McCoy and Reggie Workman are constantly there. And Wayne is constantly leading. This (like Grant Green's The Matador) is not to be listened to for the sidemen. It's a great album for the leader, backed with superb support. Get it.
Also, I bought this recent RVG remaster, and frankly, I like the original better. In fact, I returned the RVG remaster (which is more $$). That reissue just took away some of the warmth of the original. But, you be the judge ok?
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