• Wayne's World: Wayne Shorter With The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra

    September 24, 2015

    Jazz legend Wayne Shorter accepts the applause of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra during a retrospective of his music in May. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    Wayne Shorter is a living legend — a saxophonist, composer and lifelong original thinker. He's never been afraid to be different, which is perhaps why he's accomplished so much. Among his accomplishments:

    • Music director for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers
    • Member of the Miles Davis Quintet in the mid-1960s
    • Co-founder of the band Weather Report
    • Bandleader and recording artist for more than 50 years
    • Winner of 10 Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement

    He's revered by many generations of jazz lovers, including the members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. They created new arrangements of tunes from throughout his career. Then they performed those arrangements with him in May.

    "He didn't have any requests for changes of anything, amazingly, as I reflect upon it," says reedman Victor Goines. "He was able to take what we had — even though he hasn't played some of those tunes in decades, I'm sure — and interpret them and make them as fresh as anything that is being written today."

    Shorter frequently revisits some of his earlier compositions. But his objective isn't retrospective, or to recreate his older style. He always makes it a point to try to make his music new again.

    "It's almost like as an adult to go outside and play with some other adults like they used to do when they were kids," Shorter says.

    The man who called himself "Mr. Weird" as a kid is a huge film buff and loves science fiction. He's also a practicing Nichiren Buddhist, and that pushes him forward too.

    "Hon Nim Myo," Shorter says. "It means from this moment, from this moment forward is the first day of my life. And don't, we don't lie and sit on accolades and rewards and awards and what-do-you-call-it, trophies, Grammys and this and that and bank accounts and fame and all that. That's the worst kind of fuel that you can rely on. The best kind of fuel that you can rely on is Hon Nim Myo. You start from now."

    In this episode of Jazz Night In America, we hear selections from the concerts he performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York. And we visit Shorter at his house in Southern California to find out more about his many sources of inspiration.

    "I always tell the kids when they ask, 'What do you think about when you play?'" Shorter says. "I say, 'All right, let's try to play what you wish for.' Play what you wish for. Play what you wish for the world to be."

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  • Orrin Evans on "The Evolution Of Oneself": Listen Now

    September 22, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Pianist Orrin Evans plays live at WBGO and talks with Gary Walker about his album "The Evolution of Oneself." The album is available to listeners who pledge to support WBGO during our Fall Fund Drive. Enjoy!


  • Sammy Figueroa on "Imaginary World": Listen Now

    September 22, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Percussionist Sammy Figueroa talks with Awilda Rivera about his album "Imaginary World." The album is part of WBGO's Latin Package, and Figueroa performs at Club Bonafide in New York on Oct. 20 and 21. Enjoy!