Speak No Evil is the sixth album by Wayne Shorter, recorded on 24 December 1964 and released on Blue Note in 1965. The music combines elements of hard bop and modal jazz.
Having employed a version of John Coltrane's "classic quartet" rhythm section on both of his previous albums for Blue Note, Shorter altered the configuration somewhat on Speak No Evil, suggesting the influence of his recent drafting into Miles Davis's "second quintet". Held over from the last session is Coltrane's drummer Elvin Jones; but newly arrived from Davis's band are, on piano and bass respectively, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter. Rounding out the quintet on trumpet is Freddie Hubbard, an associate of Shorter's from his days as musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Hubbard was also, by 1964, a frequent collaborator of Hancock's.
Speak No Evil was one of several albums Shorter recorded for Blue Note in 1964. At the same time, he was also active in Miles Davis's band, and so it is unlikely that Speak No Evil received any special attention at the time of its release. But the passage of time has led to the album being generally regarded as Shorter's finest, and also a highlight of the Blue Note catalogue. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" calling it "by far Shorter's most satisfying record." (Full article...)
Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and an influential figure in jazz music.
Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).
Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man. (Full article...)