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The Manhattan Project: The Manhattan Project

Taped before an audience in a Manhattan studio in 1989, this no-frills DVD features Wayne Shorter, the late Michel Petrucciani, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White in a program of six well-known tunes (including Jaco Pastorius’ “Dania,” which they don’t seem to know well, and two by Shorter), plus a new blues by White. For those who haven’t seen Clarke on acoustic bass, his performance on the first three numbers is a reminder of how great he and White sounded when they first wowed New York audiences in 1972 as a rhythm team with Freddie Hubbard, and then a few months later with Chick Corea. Once Clarke switches to electric (and Gil Goldstein and Pete Levin are added on keyboards), his performance is less memorable. “Nefertiti” doesn’t work as funk, but Shorter plays hard throughout the DVD, especially on “Summertime.” Rachelle Ferrell contributes an astonishing if over-the-top vocal on “Autumn Leaves,” and Petrucciani sparkles on piano throughout.

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