Here’s a cool arrangement of an old favorite of mine, Wayne Shorter’s “Prince of Darkness”.
Another early Wayne Shorter composition
This song (or something like it) was a part my dream last night. My dreams rarely have a soundtrack, but when I do hear music I try to wake up and write it down before it fades from memory. Last night I wrested myself from the arms of Morpheus to put this melody on paper. By the light of day, my slumberous scrawl turned out to be Wayne Shorter’s “Indian Song”.
Here’s another Shorter song for you. I played this recently in a sax trio so I replaced McCoy Tyner’s old intro with a simpler bass figure. We quickly found ourselves in free jazz territory, which is honestly more fun than burning through these changes dozens of times. Depending on the band, sometimes we just vamp D7 to Eb7 until the G7 comes around.
Staying with the theme, here’s a Kenny Garrett tune called “Wayne’s Thing”. The drums play a funky second line groove, though when Kenny played this with cats like Tain or Daddy it became so much more.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Wayne Shorter recently. His bluesy compositions and lilting solos help lift my spirits on frigid winter days. Despite his long, prolific career he is poorly represented in real books, so in honor of Mr. Shorter my inaugural post features three of his tunes. First:
This one goes back to Wayne’s days with Art Blakey’s band. I like to have the whole band play the dotted eighths in the second ending, ritarding the last time into the F major. For a more modern take check out Notes from the Underground by Medeski Martin and Wood.
Another of Wayne’s haunting ballads, this one from his album Second Genesis. I get a Billy Strayhorn vibe here, I would love to have heard Johnny Hodges take this melody.
I’ve heard this one covered live by many bands, including Derek Trucks (he never hit the A7, to my ears the best part). I usually leave off the rubato first part on gigs, though Wayne’s intros are integral to his compositions. He claims to have first heard this melody on a TV commercial. I wonder which product it was for…