The Blue Note All-Stars released their official debut, Our Point of View, not quite a month ago, and one key takeaway from the album was the enduring shadow cast by Wayne Shorter.
Every musician in the group, from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to guitarist Lionel Loueke, is a student of Shorter’s legacy as a composer. The album features a brisk reworking of his “Witch Hunt,” from the 1966 album Speak No Evil, and Shorter even makes a cameo — along with a musical soul mate, Herbie Hancock — on a spooky version of “Masqualero.”
Then there’s the slightly more indirect evocation of a track like “Cycling Through Reality,” composed by drummer Kendrick Scott. The song’s drifting melody is patently Shorteresque, pointing especially toward his tenure in the Miles Davis Quintet. WBGO’s The Checkout captured a live performance of the song at the Berklee College of Music in 2012, not long before it appeared on the Kendrick Scott Oracle album Conviction.
Here, in an exclusive premiere, is video of the track’s recording by the Blue Note All-Stars at Capitol Studios.
This footage enhances the track: you can see Akinmusire and tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland trading salvos, and Robert Glasper applying his trademark chordal filigree at the piano. Also notice the album’s producer, Blue Note president Don Was, carefully listening to his headphone mix from the studio floor.