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Giant Steps: Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock

Thursday, 09 February 2017 16:54

It’s hard to know where to start when dealing with not one but two titans of jazz. Two living legends who make it all look easy... especially when this 1+1 get the chance to play together. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, between the two of them...pushing a hundred years worth of experience. At the age of twenty-three, Herbie Hancock joined the Miles Davis Quintet the year was 1963. Shorter followed in 64 after his stint with the jazz messengers. I like to imagine the two as co-conspirators -- bunking side by side, talking philosophy and composition dreaming up new ways of hearing, playing and being in this incomparable Quintet, maybe even talking about life after the Quintet.

Their friendship and working relationship has never lagged, and their commitment to their philosophy around making music has never faltered.

Herbie Hancock introduced a whole new generation of music lovers to the expansive capabilities of the keyboard -- I’ll bet you know exactly where you were when you heard both Rockit and Dophin Dance. Wayne Shorter’s tenor sax fluidity on both tenor and soprano sax has led him to 10 Grammy’s, led him to co-found Weather Report, put him among the best of all time - both an an improviser and composer.

But It was last years letter penned by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock that solidified the two as more than just excellent musicians. It was a letter addressed to the artist, but it works for all of us. Their jointly penned letter speaks to finding your spiritual center in a time of challenge., it is the ethics of jazz 101…awaken your humanity, embrace the unknown, be wary of ego, live in a state of constant wonder. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter...musicians, statesmen, philosophers- heroes.

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