Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

viernes, 30 de noviembre de 2012

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (December 2012): Wayne Shorter

Born in Newark, New Jersey on August 25, 1933, had his first great jazz epiphany as a teenager: “I remember seeing Lester Young when I was 15 years old. It was a Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic show in Newark and he was late coming to the theater. Me and a couple of other guys were waiting out front of the Adams Theater and when he finally did show up, he had the pork pie hat and everything. So then we were trying to figure out how to get into the theater from the fire escape around the back. We eventually got into the mezzanine and saw that whole show — Stan Kenton and Dizzy Gillespie bands together on stage doing ‘Peanut Vendor,’ Charlie Parker with strings doing ‘Laura’ and stuff like that. And Russell Jacquet…Ilinois Jacquet. He was there doing his thing. That whole scene impressed me so much that I just decided, ‘Hey, man, let me get a clarinet.’ So I got one when I was 16, and that’s when I started music.”

Switching to tenor saxophone, Shorter formed a teenage band in Newark called The Jazz Informers. While still in high school, Shorter participated in several cutting contests on Newark’s jazz scene, including one memorable encounter with sax great Sonny Stitt. He attended college at New York University while also soaking up the Manhattan jazz scene by frequenting popular nightspots like Birdland and Cafe Bohemia. Wayne worked his way through college by playing with the Nat Phipps orchestra. Upon graduating in 1956, he worked briefly with Johnny Eaton and his Princetonians, earning the nickname “The Newark Flash” for his speed and facility on the tenor saxophone.

Just as he was beginning making his mark, Shorter was drafted into the Army. “A week before I went into the Army I went to the Cafe Bohemia to hear music, I said, for the last time in my life. I was standing at the bar having a cognac and I had my draft notice in my back pocket. That’s when I met Max Roach. He said, ‘You’re the kid from Newark, huh? You’re The Flash.’ And he asked me to sit in. They were changing drummers throughout the night, so Max played drums, then Art Taylor, then Art Blakey. Oscar Pettiford was on cello. Jimmy Smith came in the door with his organ. He drove to the club with his organ in a hearse. And outside we heard that Miles was looking for somebody named Cannonball. And I’m saying to myself, ‘All this stuff is going on and I gotta go to the Army in about five days!’

Following his time in the service, Shorter had a brief stint in 1958 with Horace Silver and later played in the house band at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. It was around this time that Shorter began jamming with fellow tenor saxophonists John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. In 1959, Shorter had a brief stint with the Maynard Ferguson big band before joining Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in August of that year. He remained with the Jazz Messengers through 1963, becoming Blakey’s musical director and contributing several key compositions to the band’s book during those years. Shorter made his recording debut as a leader in 1959 for the Vee Jay label and in 1964 cut the first of a string of important recordings for the Blue Note label.

In 1964 Miles Davis invited Wayne to go on the road. He joined Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums) and Ron Carter (bass). This tour turned into a 6 year run with Davis in which he recorded a number albums with him. Along with Davis, he helped craft a sound that changed the face of music In his autobiography, the late Miles Davis said about Wayne…“Wayne is a real composer…he knew that freedom in music was the ability to know the rules in order to bend them to your satisfaction and taste…” In his time with Miles he crafted what have become jazz standards like “Nefertiti,” “E.S.P.,” “Pinocchio,” “Sanctuary,” “Fall” and “Footprints

Simultaneous with his time in the Miles Davis quintet, Shorter recorded several albums for Blue Note Records, featuring almost exclusively his own compositions, with a variety of line-ups, quartets and larger groups including Blue Note favourites such as Freddie Hubbard. His first Blue Note album (of nine in total) was Night Dreamer recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in 1964 with Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman and Elvin Jones. The later album The All Seeing Eye was a free-jazz workout with a larger group, while Adam’s Apple of 1966 was back to carefully constructed melodies by Shorter leading a quartet. Then a sextet again in the following year for Schizophrenia with his Miles Davis band mates Hancock and Carter plus trombonist Curtis Fuller, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding and strong rhythms by drummer Joe Chambers. These albums have recently been remastered by Rudy Van Gelder.

In 1970, Shorter co-founded the group Weather Report with keyboardist and Miles Davis alum, Joe Zawinul. It remained the premier fusion group through the ’70s and into the early ’80s before disbanding in 1985 after 16 acclaimed recordings, including 1980’s Grammy Award-winning double-live LP set, 8:30. Shorter formed his own group in 1986 and produced a succession of electric jazz albums for the Columbia label — 1986’s Atlantis, 1987’s Phantom Navigator, 1988’s Joy Ryder. He re-emerged on the Verve label with 1995’s High Life. After the tragic loss of his wife in 1996 (she was aboard the ill-fated Paris-bound flight TWA 800), Shorter returned to the scene with 1997’s 1+1, an intimate duet recording with pianist and former Miles Davis quintet bandmate Herbie Hancock. The two spent 1998 touring as a duet.

After Weather Report, Shorter continued to record and lead groups in jazz fusion styles, including touring in 1988 with guitarist Carlos Santana, who appeared on the last Weather Report disc This is This! In 1989, he scored a hit on the rock charts, playing the sax solo on Don Henley’s song “The End of the Innocence” and also produced the album “Pilar” by the Portuguese singer-songwriter Pilar Homem de Melo.

In 1995, Shorter released the album High Life, his first solo recording for seven years. It was also Shorter’s debut as a leader for Verve Records. Shorter composed all the compositions on the album and co-produced it with the bassist Marcus Miller. High Life received the Grammy Award for best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1997. Shorter would work with Hancock once again in 1997, on the much acclaimed and heralded album 1+1. The song “Aung San Suu Kyi” (named for the Burmese pro-democracy activist) won both Hancock and Shorter a Grammy Award. In 2009, he was announced as one of the headline acts at the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira, Morocco.

By the summer of 2001, Wayne began touring as the leader of a talented young lineup featuring pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, each a celebrated recording artist and bandleader in his own right. The group’s uncanny chemistry was well documented on 2002’s acclaimed Footprints Live! Shorter followed in 2003 with the ambitious Alegria, an expanded vision for large ensemble which earned him a Grammy Award. In 2005, Shorter released the live Beyond the Sound Barrier which earned him another Grammy Award. “It’s the same mission…fighting the good fight,” he said. “It’s making a statement about what life is, really. And I’m going to end the line with it.”

http://www.wayneshorter.com/

domingo, 4 de noviembre de 2012

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (November 2012) : William Cepeda

Biography

William Cepeda - trombone, composer, producer

William Cepeda comes from a well known family rooted in music. The Familia Cepeda is famous for their performances of folkloric music with African roots, the ‘Bomba,’ and as keepers of traditional Puerto Rican music for many years. The legendary Cepedas’ have produced many of Puerto Rico's most respected Afro-Rican percussionists, singers, dancers, composers and instrumentalists. Now, in William Cepeda, the young multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger who was nurtured by the twin spirits of bomba and bebop, Puerto Rico's potent rhythms and entrancing melodies radiate out to enthrall an international audience hungry for new Latin sounds.

Despite his family’s intimate association with folkloric music, as a soloist Cepeda went his own way. His interest in jazz and great talent has enabled him to develop a unique jazz style which he calls “Afrorican Jazz”. The music is a fusion of jazz with the musical themes so prevalent in the folk music he grew up with.

Born in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Cepeda was immersed in the rhythms and melodies of the native danza, bomba and plena and even the folk music of the jibaro. With this background and family history, he started playing percussion with friends by age ten. In his teens, Cepeda picked up the trombone and got an early start as a professional musician.

Cepeda’s formal musical training includes BA degrees from Berklee College of Music in Boston and from the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico. He also attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York, on a full scholarship, where he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance. The training exposed Cepeda to some of the greatest jazz musicians and taught him complexities of jazz improvisation and composition. He studied and played with such notable jazz musicians as Slide Hampton, Donald Byrd, David Murray, and others. He also played and recorded with Latin music artists such as Oscar De Leon, Paquito d’Rivera, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. When he is not touring, Cepeda is busy in the recording studio. As a recording artist, he appears on over 100 recordings as well as jingles and movie soundtracks.

Cepeda also played with and learned much from Dizzy Gillespie, one of the founders of Latin Jazz. The association began in 1989 when Cepeda was hired by Gillespie during a tour by Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra. Joining the tour with Miriam Makeba, Cepeda participated in the fusion of jazz with South African music. On his return to Puerto Rico in 1990, after the tour, and inspired by collaboration with Gillespie and Makeba, Cepeda created his Afrorican jazz style. He had made a unique contribution in fusing the distinct musical styles and traditions of Africa and Puerto Rico, in a way that only Rafael Cortijo had done before with the major difference being the addition of jazz.

A chance encounter with Gillespie had opened a great artistic vehicle for Cepeda. It turned into an invitation to tour Europe with Gillespie, a lasting relationship, and unique musical style. It has afforded Cepeda to show his talents as a composer as well as an accomplished trombonist.

In 1997, Cepeda was selected one of the most important and influential Puerto Rican composers. His talent has brought him more than just popular recognition. It has won him many awards as well as grants from such diverse groups as the American Composers Orchestra, the American Composers Forum, the Association of Hispanic Arts and the Latino Arts Advancement Program. In2002 Cepeda was honored with a Meet The Composer’ New Residencies Program award to be a composer-in-residence of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico for the next three years. During this residence Cepeda began writing music for many different kind of groupings, from chamber ensembles to big bands and symphonic orchestra, and developing artistic collaboration with dance and theater ensembles. Cepeda is currently on the faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, teaches part-time and conducts seminars and workshops.

But Cepeda has also been successful as a record producer. He produced “Bombazo” (1998) for Grupo Afro Boricua,( highly recommended) as well as his own CD’s on the Blue Jackel label. “My Roots and Beyond,” (1998) and “Branching Out,” in 2000. He has started his own record label Casabe and has released “Live at Montreux,” and “Unity,” both in 2007.

Trombonist /composer /arranger William Cepeda is part of a new generation of musicians who have not only mastered the skills a jazz artist requires, but combine them with the traditional music of their homeland, creating a new and challenging repertoire. Cepeda calls his own variation on this theme “Afrorican Jazz.”

“This is my contribution to Puerto Rican music...Nothing like this has been done before, because while there are plenty of great jazz albums inspired by Cuban rhythms and music, Cuban-jazz fusions and such, there's nothing quite of the same calibre out there for Puerto Rican music and jazz. And there should be. It's time. You know, don Rafael Cepeda said that when the Puerto Rican people understand the value of their music and folklore, they will fight with great force to defend their honor. This music is about my people and for my people.”

“Traditional Puerto Rican music isn't heard that much outside of the island and it's a shame. We have a very strong music. By using a variety of instruments and the wealth of jazz resources, I have brought this rich tradition to another level, to a wider audience but also to a new level of feeling, more in line with the experience of today. I'm putting a little fire into it, with the result, I hope, of offering a dynamic and beautiful music for many, many people to enjoy.” William Cepeda