Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY WAYNE SHORTER.

- HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY WAYNE SHORTER- Thank you for a retreat from reality. - Wayne Shorter is one of the few musicians who can create a larger-than-life experience through the combined forces of exceptional music, a beautiful instrument, and uncommonly facile communicative skills. Charles Lloyd, Benny Golson and Lew Tabackin immediately come to mind as well. All RICO artists by the way. If I was a producer- I would have had Wayne Shorter and Monk record together, that would have been an adventure. In his performances Wayne Shorter creates transcendent masterpieces in time, space and sound and finds a perfect balance between a romantic, rhapsodic interpretations. To immediately appreciate the very resonant sound that emphasizes what is Wayne Shorter, be it his soprano playing or tenor is one of life’s pleasures. Wayne Shorter is one of the real major sax players. But it's the combination of playing and composing that makes him one of the greatest of all times. I’m going to talk about something you might know of- but also I urge all to immediately check out. Listen and study. A few recordings that are classic. Here they are- 'Speak no evil' together with 'Adams apple' and 'Schizophrenia' you will get a perfect idea of Shorter’s early work and his huge talent. In my opinion these albums are a must in understanding the evolution of jazz. 'Speak no evil' is about composition. The five artists play in service of the compositions. It is about the carpet of sound and not the individual qualities. There's room for space and melodic poetry. This new approach is to be followed up for decades. It is the first solo album of Shorter without the Coltrane band The second album is Schizophrenia. The liner notes explains the title as 'a retreat from reality'. Shorter finds new paths and that would make him a split-personality in a time where people are used to stay on the same course. All the six players follow this new course and all find themselves more than capable. The music is soulful and more important it is funky. Shorter playing is often compared with Coltrane. His qualities put him next to Coltrane, Rollins and Parker. But in doing so, there is another category, Wayne Shorter. 'Adam's apple' is the third great album of Wayne Shorter. With a lot of Miles Davis Quintet experience Shorter makes his best album. The compositions are (again) all beautiful, but it is the power in the playing that makes the album. It is full, sentimental, drama, spacious and often surprising. And, mind you, this is only a quartet playing! Juju is one of the most important recordings for me, and I would think everyone who takes the time to listen. This album is Wayne's first in a long series of classic recordings for the Blue Note label. In trying to put this session in perspective with his other mid-sixties recordings as a leader, I find that Wayne has not yet fully developed and presented his compositional skills. While "Night Dreamer" exhibits some fine performances by all, his second Blue Note, "JuJu", combines equally fine performances as well as some of Wayne's most notable compositions. His third Blue Note offering, "Speak No Evil" is very strong compositionalllty, in a category of it’s own.Recorded in April, 1964, this session features Lee Morgan (trumpet), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass) and the incomparable Elvin Jones on drums. The rhythm section of McCoy, Reggie and Elvin had worked extensively together in John Coltrane's quartet, and Wayne and Lee as front men for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Besides the long-standing relationships, these five jazz giants recorded many sessions in various combinations throughout the early sixties. That is not to say that the communication skills they must have developed are too obvious in this recording. They don't always seem to weave the same color and texture of fabric as we might expect. - Night Dreamer - A simple, relaxing piece in 3/4 time. Wayne is typically expressive, and Lee is clean and sharp. McCoy's solo searches for but never finds a groove. Wayne takes us out with another equally revealing, gritty improvisation. Elvin provides his typical vigorous and strong presence. Oriental Folk Song - Nothing Oriental about this tune, a relaxed 4/4 swing number with a simple head. Wayne is short and sweet, but not one of best solos. Virgo - A gorgeous Wayne ballad. Wayne's sound throughout is rich, eloquent and his notes soulful, yet optimistic. Reggie and McCoy's accompaniment is mature and sensitive, as is Elvin's brush work. Virgo (alternate take) - Even more passionate than the primary take. I preferred this one. Absolutely wonderful. Black Nile - Finally, has earned him the renown as one of great jazz composers of his time. The head features Wayne and Lee harmonizing in a spirited, energetic tempo. Wayne takes honors and digs real deep. Lee follows, and cooks behind some of Elvin's most explosive and inspirational drumming of the session. McCoy follows with one his best solos of the date. Elvin cleans up with a nice solo, then out.Charcoal Blues - A simple, yet interesting blues head followed by a rich, bluesy Wayne solo that creeps outside at the end, yet it really works, despite the blues changes lurking behind him. McCoy follows suit and pounds out a blues solo in his typical chromatic style, which works equally well. Armageddon - Wayne’s finest composition of the album - haunting and provocative. There is no question that every student of music, not just jazz or saxophone, should listen to these works. Study them deeply and let the unique frame of mind, and creative zenith wash over your soul. What Mr. Shorter has created in this music is as is as important as Strayhorn and Bach as well as via mind set and brilliance Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei as well. Think about it- you’ll get my point of view. One enhances the other. Vastly empowered and limitless in his capacities for development, and embracing all knowledge and capacities as fully as possible. A modern day polymath and universal genius, listen and observe. Wayne is best appreciated by hearing the varied approaches of the many great recordings he made as well from his early years with Art Blakey to Miles and Weather Report. It’s a life long remarkable demonstration of artistry- nothing like it in this life. To me, there is endless beauty, ideas and always brilliantly played and deeply expressive, the man is a treasure, a stunning and inspiring human being blazing a path every time he writes, plays or talks. Happy 80th Wayne Shorter, and thank you sir for a retreat from reality. - Go to you tube- listen to WAYNE SHORTER, Chief Crazy Horse - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC4qhVvSPMk // Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esPaveeO9ME // Wayne Shorter, "Ruby and the Pearl"- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhY5V7Z9oco // Wayne Shorter Quartet - Zero Gravity/ Lotus 2010 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTQMj4180CM......DON'T STOP THERE- HEAR HIM LIVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.....Thank you Mr Shorter- TIM PRICE

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