Category: Shorter, Wayne

Intl Jazz Day 2014: Wayne Shorter—Philosophy of Life Through Jazz

On April 30 of this year, the world celebrated International Jazz Day with a day of music, talks, workshops and an All-Star Global Concert from Osaka, Japan. Included in the festivities were jazz greats such as  Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roy Hargrove,  Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding, T.S.Monk, Kenny Garrett, Courtney Pine, and so many others. I am going to post some of the video interviews over the next week or so.

Here is a fantastic hour-long talk with Mika Shino, the legendary Wayne Shorter in which he discusses what has inspired and continues to inspire his body of work, including philosophy, art, literature, science, physics, and an hours worth of other topics.

—Peter Blasevick

Wayne Shorter: Portrait Of A Visionary

wayneShorterHappy New Year all! I hope 2013 ended up great for everyone and 2014 promises to be even better!

Here is a great portrait of Wayne Shorter R. J. Deluke put together last week for Along with Shorter himself, Deluke includes parts of talks wiht other musicians like Wallace Roney, John Patitucci, and Jack DeJohnette to get a fuller picture of the legendaey Saxophonist. From the interview:

The meaning of the often-debated word “jazz,” to Shorter, is “I dare you.” He exemplifies it. 

“Don’t play music lessons, Art Blakey would say,” says Shorter, who then effects a dead-on Blakey voice impersonation. “‘I don’t wanna hear that. Tell me a story.’ When I talked with Miles [Davis], we kind of talked like this, like we’re talking now, and Miles would say a couple of times [in perfect Miles raspy voice:] ‘Why don’t you play that.’ In other words: play what you’re thinking. Don’t play music. Play a story.’ What do you play after you play ‘Once upon a time?’ What comes next?”

Click here to read Wayne Shorter: Portrait Of A Visionary

—Peter Blasevick

Jazz Conversations: Wayne Shorter & Joe Lovano

In this six part 2013 video discussion from the BlueNote YouTube pageWayne Shorter & Joe Lovano let mere mortals such as us listen in on their thoughts about music, life, and the rest of the world.

—Peter Blasevick

Wayne Shorter with Tavis Smiley 2013

Here’s another interview with Wayne Shorter for this extended 80th birthday celebration, this a brand new one with Tavis Smiley from this past week. The legend talks about his career, Herbie Hancock’s 80th birthday tribute to him, and his soon to be released new project.

—Peter Blasevick

In Conversation with Wayne Shorter 2002

wayneShorterCelebrating Wayne Shorter‘s 80th birthday this week! Here is a cool 2002 interview with the jazz great conducted by Bob Blumenthal for The interview was conducted in front of an audience, and towards the end there are some questions from the attendees. Here’s one:

Can you talk about playing with Miles Davis?

I had the most fun playing with Miles Davis, and John Coltrane told me that, too. Now, the same kind of fun is happening with John Patitucci and Brian Blade and Danilo Perez, and over the years I had fun playing with Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock. But Miles was a “source” kind of guy. You know how Captain Marvel would go to Delphi, to get his shazam stuff together? Miles was like that, and he was a buddy, too.

I stay away from calling people “best friends”, because best friends are always becoming; but Herbie, Joe, we’re all becoming better and better friends. There’s no end to this growth. We’re older now, we talk from time to time. I talk to Sonny Rollins on the phone once or twice a year, Horace Silver, Benny Golson. Gil Evans came to my home, unannounced, just before he passed away. I guess I’d better do a book, and keep it straight.

Click here to read In Conversation with Wayne Shorter 2002

Wayne Shorter On Jazz: ‘How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?’

As the great Wayne Shorter approaches his 80th birthday, he’s just reunited with the label that championed him as a bandleader back in the 1960s, Blue Note Records. On the new album Without a Net, he leads a quartet with whom he’s spent more than a decade through live recordings and some striking new compositions.

Speaking with NPR’s Laura Sullivan, Shorter says he absorbed a common principle from Davis, Coltrane, Blakey and his other great peers and mentors: They left their musicians alone.

“The six years I was with Miles, we never talked about music. We never had a rehearsal,” Shorter says. “Jazz shouldn’t have any mandates. Jazz is not supposed to be something that’s required to sound like jazz. For me, the word ‘jazz’ means, ‘I dare you.’ The effort to break out of something is worth more than getting an A in syncopation.

“This music, it’s dealing with the unexpected,” he adds. “No one really knows how to deal with the unexpected. How do you rehearse the unknown?”

Click here to listen to Wayne Shorter On Jazz: ‘How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?’, including Shorter’s Miles Davis impression!

Introducing Wayne Shorter—The Jazz Review, November 1959

This week I’m posting interviews from the music journal The Jazz Review, which has been wonderfully preserved at the great website Founded by Nat Hentoff, Martin Williams, and Hsio Wen Shih in New York in 1958, The Jazz Review was the premier journal of jazz in the United States. Short-lived as it was (1958-1961), it set an enduring standard for criticism. All the interview links point to the full .pdf for that issue, so it might take a second to load. Worth the wait!

Today I’m linking to a early 1959 interview with Wayne Shorter. LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) gives a nice background of the legendary tenor’s growing up in Newark, NJ, and speaks with Shorter about his contemporaries and his time with Maynard Ferguson and Art Blakey. From the interview:

“What it comes to is seriousness! Nothing comes to anything unless you’re serious about it. Man, that’s the only things I dig. . .serious people doing serious things…otherwise, there’s not much to it. Of course, there’s such a thing as serious humor too. You know? Like Monk. Man, that cat’s jokes are dead serious! To me, that’s what people like Sonny and John represent, a really serious approach to music. And with people that are constantly improvising, you can see the real accomplishment. It’s amazing! At least, it amazes me. John especially. I mean, he doesn’t ever stop taking care of business.”

Click here to read Introducing Wayne Shorter—The Jazz Review, November 1959

Wayne Shorter: The Man and the Legacy

In his 2003 interview with Philip Gordon for, legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter revealed his sincere feelings towards his life, his music, his friendships and, his respect for the many world-class musicians with whom he has collaborated with throughout his impressive career. Also discussed were his evolution as an artist and these relationships, and his passionate commitment to spirit of the music, life, and his spontaneous, improvisational approach. Wayne on practicing and Miles Davis:

“No, I don’t practice, it’s difficult to practice the unknown. I do look at material when I’m writing something. It’s a question like so many things in life, it’s like Miles Davis ( Shorter imitates Miles voice) used to say: ‘You see the way Humprey Bogart hit that cat?’, a little punch when he hit a guy. ‘Play that!’ or, when John Wayne used to make that turn- around, or twist when he made a corner, ‘See what John Wayne just did?…now play that!’ Miles was always asked how he did what he did, he’d say: ‘Just watch the way somebody moves and play that’, and then the guy would play that and later ask Miles what he thought, and Miles would say: ‘You talk to your girlfriend like that?'”

Click here to read Wayne Shorter: The Man and the Legacy 

Wayne Shorter 1992 Saxophone Journal

The great tenor talks about composition, different makes of horns, and early influences and experiences in this January/February 1992 interview with Mel Martin in The Saxophone Journal.

Click here to read Wayne Shorter 1992 Saxophone Journal