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|Studio album by Wayne Shorter|
|Recorded||August 3, 1964
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
|Genre||Post bop, Modal jazz, Hard bop|
|Wayne Shorter chronology|
The album shows the strong influence of John Coltrane, with whom Shorter had studied as an undergraduate, and whose style is reflected here both in performance and composition: Shorter's timbre is rather astringent, and his phrases are long and volatile; neither quality is typical of his later work. "Yes or No" is reminiscent harmonically of Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" from Blue Train; and "House of Jade", like later Shorter ballads (including "Infant Eyes" from Speak No Evil) is similar in melody and structure to "Naima". The personnel also reflects Coltrane's influence, consisting essentially of a version of the latter's classic quartet, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Reggie Workman on bass (who is mixed very low on this album). The same rhythm section backed Coltrane on the 1961 album Africa/Brass, the title track of which anticipates the title track of this album. By Shorter's next album, Speak No Evil, recorded later in 1964, the leader's phrases became briefer, softer, and more rounded, under the influence of Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis, his employer at the time, and Tyner was replaced by Shorter's Davis bandmate, Herbie Hancock.
Interestingly, the original liner notes for JuJu (by Nat Hentoff) made no mention of Coltrane, nor of Shorter's apprenticeship with him; Bob Blumenthal, author of the liner notes for the new Rudy Van Gelder edition of the album, speculates that this was a deliberate omission.
Several of the compositions on JuJu feature a 4 to 16 bar A section in which the band vamps on one or two chords, followed by a B section consisting of more complex changes. (In the case of "House of Jade", the opposite is true.) This enabled Shorter to use only one or two scales on each piece, thereby obtaining the modal flavour of John Coltrane's contemporary work without sacrificing the customary harmonic complexity of his writing. For example, the distinctive harmonic flavor of the composition "JuJu" stems from the heavy use of a B augmented chord and Shorter's exploration of the related whole-tone scale. "Mahjong" features a memorable, tuneful solo by Shorter, in which he navigates through the changes primarily by means of a simple, F minor pentatonic scale.
All pieces written by Shorter
- "JuJu" –8:30
- "Deluge" –6:49
- "House of Jade" –6:49
- "Mahjong" –7:39
- "Yes or No" –6.34
- "Twelve More Bars to Go" –5:26
- Alternative takes on reissue:
- "JuJu" –7:48
- "House of Jade" –6:37
- Proefrock, Stacia (2011). "Juju - Wayne Shorter | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- JuJu (RVG edition) — Blue Note site