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  1. #1

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    I'm joining a workshop ensemble focused on Wayne Shorter compositions. My current (short) repetoire is all swing and easier bebop tunes. My understanding is that Shorter's tunes rely less on functional harmony in the strict theory sense.
    So casting a wide net here: Any tips on approaching Wayne Shorter tunes with regards to improv and comping??

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tommycorsica; 06-04-2013 at 11:05 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Start with the melody...and listen to Wayne's approach...he'll often start with the melody, even returning to it during a solo. Create tension and resolution...Shorter's compositions often have definite "release points" where hitting a few strong chord tones really makes a statement. Don't be afraid of dissonance. The cadences may not be traditional, but the chords still imply harmonic "environments."
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 06-04-2013 at 03:36 PM.

  4. #3
    Thank you, Mr B. (Go Blackhawks!)
    I'm relieved that your advice both makes sense and is within my capabilities.

  5. #4

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    WHat a great workshop!! As Mr. B said -- listen to a lot of Wayne (past and present)!! And, of course, listen to a lot of other players' recordings of Wayne's tunes to see how they approached the compositions.

    Then just go for it!

  6. #5

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    That does sound like a fantastic workshop...

    Wayne's tunes are so great...they're really ALL about melody...

  7. #6

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    In the original recording of "Nefertiti", the whole group really just repeats the melody over and over with different inflection, etc. It is astonishing.
    a superb tune. See if you can find Phil Woods' version on "Musique Du Bois" and Chick Corea's on "Circle- The Paris Concert". They go a lot further from the melody than Wayne himself, but they might give you an idea of what to do with Wayne's non-traditional harmony.

  8. #7

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    Nefertiti is an incredible piece of music...on the original, the drums and piano are improvising like crazy, while the horns are playing with timbre and like jseaberry says, inflection...
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 06-05-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  9. #8
    Thanks all - Juju, Black Nile, Adam's Apple, Footprints melodies all bouncing around in my head this morning. Honestly, I'd written off Wayne Shorter repetoire as over my head. Also, I'd read a widely distributed critique that argued Miles Davis ruined Wayne Shorter (and a generation of other players) by introducing Jazz Fusion. That may be, but those Blue Note years are amazing. Now I'm psyched to break out of my own ignorance, find some new sounds and get my arse kicked a bit. Always something new to learn...

  10. #9

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    Footprints-- Minor blues with some wild altered chords in the turnaround...that most people play wrong...

  11. #10

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    Not to be a shilling whore for someone that gives me not a penny, but Barry Greene has a very, very good video/PDF lesson on Footprints that has some good ideas on how to approach Wayne Shorter work, plus the alternative to the (un)Real Book changes, for $15.00.

  12. #11

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    I could probably use that...I'll admit, I just play free over that sequence for the most part and nail a few chord tones on the last alt. dom before the i...

  13. #12

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    Pat Martino does a great cover of Footprints. Surprised it doesn't get mentioned more often. It's off his album Footprints which was his tribute in memory of Wes.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 06-05-2013 at 06:30 PM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Footprints-- Minor blues with some wild altered chords in the turnaround...that most people play wrong...
    just for those who wonder what jeff is saying: the real book gets this wrong (IIRC they have
    D7 / % /Db7/%)

    Aebersold, who claims to have gotten this straight from shorter, says that it's
    F#m7b5 / B7 / E7#9 / A7#9
    Last edited by pkirk; 06-05-2013 at 09:19 PM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Pat Martino does a great cover of Footprints. Surprised it doesn't get mentioned more often. It's off his album Footprints which was his tribute in memory of Wes.
    great, great jazz guitar album. Also released as "the visit." Billy Higgins, Richard Davis,.....

  16. #15

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    For Tommy and everyone else, the Aebersold "Wayne" play-along is a great way to practice some of these tunes. Double-CD, too!

  17. #16
    Actually, the ensemble teacher - horn player Ron Horton (Ron Horton) -- is using the Aebersold version for the class(but not the backing track - that's me/us!)
    And in the "New Real Book", I found the correct changes mentioned above by pkirk.
    Again, thank you all.

  18. #17

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    Slide into notes.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk
    just for those who wonder what jeff is saying: the real book gets this wrong (IIRC they have
    D7 / % /Db7/%) Aebersold, who claims to have gotten this straight from shorter, says that it's
    F#m7b5 / B7 / E7#9 / A7#9
    a few subs thats all F#m7b5 = D9 B7 = D13b9 Db7 = E7#9 A7#5#9 = Eb7b5

    = means equivalent not identical


    F#m7b5 / B7 / E7#9 / A7#9 just in 4/5ths F# to B to E to A etc .

  20. #19

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    Stanley Clark and Herbie play this chromatic subs progression, it's smoother:

    | F#-7b5 | F7+4 | E-7b5 sus | Eb7 |
    Last edited by rintincop; 05-13-2020 at 07:34 PM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk
    just for those who wonder what jeff is saying: the real book gets this wrong (IIRC they have
    D7 / % /Db7/%)

    Aebersold, who claims to have gotten this straight from shorter, says that it's
    F#m7b5 / B7 / E7#9 / A7#9
    What does the % sign mean in this context after the D7 chord?

  22. #21

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    Repeat the D7 chord. Like saying ‘ditto’.

  23. #22

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    I think it means to repeat? Am I right?

  24. #23

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    Ah thanks man!

  25. #24

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    Nice to see this thread revived. I've been listening to certain Shorter tunes quite obsessively recently, namely 502 Blues, Adam's Apple, Oriental Folk Song (which I always think of as a kind of forerunner of 'Nefertititi'), Juju and Charcoal Blues. I'd love to hear some chord melody solo guitar versions if anyone knows of any...

    I would love to have seen Shorter's lead sheets. I often wonder how prescriptive he was over the piano chords. Whether it's McCoy Tyner or Herbie playing, those underlying piano chords shift a lot in the heads. It's those subtle (or often not subtle at all) changes that make the tunes.

    I don't own a Real Book but have been thinking of buying one just for several of the Shorter tunes I love. What's the consensus: are the chords given for Shorter's tunes generally accurate in the (latest) Real Book? Footprints has been discussed at length above but what about, say, 502 Blues? I wouldn't expect them to capture every way in which the essential chord is transformed by further notes across the duration of its bar, so long as the basic chord is there and accurate.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Milton
    Nice to see this thread revived. I've been listening to certain Shorter tunes quite obsessively recently, namely 502 Blues....
    I only recently checked out Jimmy Rowles' original version of 502 Blues from 1958. Shorter's arrangment makes a good tune great. The original reminds me a little of detective-show jazz.