Wayne Shorter on Jazz Again

This is Wayne Shorter on jazz:

“If you’re playing something that’s supposed to sound like it’s supposed to be . . . and you’re perfecting this mandatory expression with mandates all around it, it’s nothing more than a statue,” says Shorter. “Like polishing a statue.”

It’s further pinpoints a similar point Wayne made earlier about jazz moving forward. The quote is from a Boston.com article about Wayne’s 75th Birthday Celebration. Also in the article: Wayne meets William Shatner (it’s Shatcember, you know)!

Wayne Shorter Jazz Quote

“There used to be a thing where people would say, “this is not jazz! Blah, blah, blah. It’s supposed to sound like this.” Whenever there’s a prescription for what something is supposed to be, to look like or sound like, then to me, that’s a statue.”

I love listening to Wayne speak. He always makes me think. This quote is from the latest issue of the Jazz Improv magazine.

Beyond the Sound Barrier from the Wayne Shorter Quartet

I can’t do a better job of describing or promoting Wayne Shorter’s latest release, Beyond the Sound Barrier, than this new interview with the man by Bill Milkowski at at the Abstract Logix site. What more can be said of the incredible abilities of Shorter and his quartet of Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade? Pick up what is likely to win next year’s Best Contemporary Jazz Grammy (beating Metheny’s longform The Way Up) on the Verve label in stores today.

Grammy Report

OK, I watched the Grammys and wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. The Foo Fighters and Chick Corea collaboration was great. I’m thinking Chick was ready for a smoke and a lay after rocking with those guys. I was surprised to see Arturo Sandoval perform with Justin Timberlake. I love the jazz and pop/rock combos, but I would like to see the pop/rock guys tackling a jazz song instead of the other way around. Even better, I’d like to see the return of jazz artists performing their own music on the broadcast.

So who won? You have to go to the Grammy site to find out. In the last few years, the broadcast quickly showed them on the side when getting ready to go to break. This year, they gave up and said go to the web site. The “Metheny Always Wins” mandate holds true – he’s the winner of Best New Age Album. No surprise to see Wayne Shorter pick up Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Alegria. Randy Brecker, Michel Camilo, Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, and Chick Corea were other jazz Grammy winners.

Thanks to OutKast closing the show, I’m going to have “Hey Ya!” in my head all night.

2004 Grammy Nominees

There are no real surprises in the list of jazz Grammy nominees for 2004. For Best Contemporary Jazz Album, you’ve got the usual suspects of Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, and Randy Brecker. The reunited Crusaders pick up a nomination as does Nicholas Payton’s fusion recording Sonic Trance. Another “trumpeter gone wild” this year – Roy Hargrove – picked up a nod for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for the RH Factor song “I’ll Stay” featuring D’Angelo. Among his competitors in that category is Stanley Clarke with Glenn Lewis and Amel Larrieux for “Where Is the Love” from 1, 2, to the Bass. In the “what the hell?!” category, Pat Metheny’s One Quiet Night CD is nominated for Best New Age Album (but that means someone else will win Best Jazz Album).

The Grand Unification Theory by Stefon Harris gets a deserved nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Also up for the Grammy in that category are Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Pat Martino, and, most likely to win, Wayne Shorter. Shorter’s “Sacajawea” is a candidate for Best Instrumental Composition, as is Michael Brecker’s “Broadband” from his thrice-nominated release Wide Angles.

Visit the Grammy site for a complete list of Grammy nominations. The awards will be presented on February 8 and be broadcast on CBS.