JuJu (album)

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JuJu-Wayne Shorter.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1965
RecordedAugust 3, 1964
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
GenrePost bop, modal jazz, hard bop
LabelBlue Note
BLP 4182
ProducerAlfred Lion
Wayne Shorter chronology
Night Dreamer
Speak No Evil
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[2]

JuJu is the fifth album by American jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. It was released in July 1965 by Blue Note Records.[4]


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.

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.

Track listing[edit]

All pieces written by Shorter.

  1. "JuJu" – 8:30
  2. "Deluge" – 6:49
  3. "House of Jade" – 6:49
  4. "Mahjong" – 7:39
  5. "Yes or No" – 6.34
  6. "Twelve More Bars to Go" – 5:26

Alternative takes on reissue

  1. "JuJu" – 7:48
  2. "House of Jade" – 6:37



  1. ^ Proefrock, Stacia (2011). "Juju – Wayne Shorter | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  2. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 180. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  3. ^ "Wayne Shorter: JuJu". Sputnikmusic. sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ "none". Schwann Monthly Guide to Stereo Records. Vol. 19 no. 10–12. p. 277.

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