Wayne Shorter

Phantom Navigator

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Still drifting after leaving Weather Report, Shorter meanders about in a sea of electronically dominated backings, following the tide in search of a direction. Nothing wrong with electronics per se; it's just that Wayne's compositions in that idiom are weak, the endlessly undulating melodic lines go nowhere and have nothing fresh to say. Stu Goldberg, Mitch Forman, Jeff Bova and Jim Beard unimaginatively bathe the record in synthesizers, and the drum programming by a host of co-conspirators makes for a rather sterile rhythm environment. On a sheer technical level, Wayne's soprano and tenor work is alright, yet on "Yamanja" he does a depressingly mechanical sounding turn on a lyricon. Pass this right by.

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