Beyond the Sound Barrier

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Beyond the Sound Barrier
Beyond the Sound Barrier.jpg
Live album by Wayne Shorter
Released June 14, 2005
Recorded 2002–04
Venue various
Genre Jazz
Length 1:01:12
Label Verve
Wayne Shorter chronology
Beyond the Sound Barrier
Without a Net
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
All About Jazz 5/5 stars[2]
PopMatters 9/10 stars[3]
Jazz Review 5/5 stars[4]
Sputnikmusic 4/5[5]

Beyond the Sound Barrier is a live album by saxophonist Wayne Shorter released on Verve Records in 2005.


The album was recorded from November 2002 to April 2004 in Europe, America, and Asia[6] and features the 'Footprints Quartet' of Shorter, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade. Beyond the Sound Barrier received the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album.

Two pieces, "Joy Ryder" and "Over Shadow Hill Way", are markedly different versions of tunes featured on Shorter's synth-heavy electronic album from 1988, Joy Ryder.


Nate Chinan of Jazz Times wrote "Beyond the Sound Barrier picks up where its predecessor left off: It’s another compilation of concert recordings from the band’s extensive travels. But where the epochal Footprints-Live! raided the classic Shorter catalog for material, this album sprinkles in several new tunes. They tend toward a mysterious rippling quality that justifies long and cosmic titles. The best of the bunch is the title track, which spins a seductive ostinato into a vast and mysterious koan."[7]

Will Layman of PopMatters stated "Beyond the Sound Barrier does more than reinforce the marvel of Wayne Shorter’s return to brilliant, challenging acoustic jazz. This collection of concert recordings makes the argument that Wayne’s long hiatus served an important artistic purpose, and one that the first two comeback discs did not fully acknowledge. On Sound Barrier, Wayne’s quartet (including Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums) plays in a fully interactive style that eschews individual “solos” almost completely. There is not a single track that follows the usual jazz format of melody-solos-melody. Every one of these performances is a thematic exploration resembling a conversation between four equal partners—but a musical conversation of such exquisite cohesion and explosive discovery that each track seems an impossibility of grace."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Wayne Shorter except where noted.

  1. "Smilin' Through" (Penn) – 11:52
  2. "As Far as the Eye Can See" – 6:27
  3. "On Wings of Song" (Mendelssohn) – 4:35
  4. "Tinker Bell" – 1:59
  5. "Joy Ryder" – 11:19
  6. "Over Shadow Hill Way" – 12:33
  7. "Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean" – 6:03
  8. "Beyond the Sound Barrier" – 6:24



  1. ^ Beyond the Sound Barrier at AllMusic
  2. ^ Kelman, John (June 10, 2005). "Wayne Shorter Quartet: Beyond The Sound Barrier". All About Jazz. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  3. ^ Layman, Will (16 June 2005). "Wayne Shorter: Beyond the Sound Barrier". PopMatters. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Gangi, Richard (28 March 2005). "Beyond the Sound Barrier by Wayne Shorter Quartet". Jazz Review. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Wayne Shorter: Beyond the Sound Barrier". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 7 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Wayne Shorter Quartet – Beyond The Sound Barrier". Discogs. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  7. ^ Chinen, Nate (June 1, 2005). "Wayne Shorter Quartet: Beyond the Sound Barrier". Jazz Times. 
  8. ^ Layman, Will (16 June 2005). "Wayne Shorter: Beyond the Sound Barrier". PopMatters. Retrieved 4 October 2017.