Wayne Shorter was in Seattle last week for the Earshot Jazz Festival, and I missed it! I was so bummed, and he was on my mind, so I went through my archives and dug up this gem of a performance.
It’s a duet from a live performance with Bobby McFerrin and I love it. They play off of each other beautifully, taking turns walking bass lines for each other while the other player solos. That’s right – you not only get to hear Wayne Shorter blow a great solo, you get to hear him walk a bass line. How often does that happen?
The solo uses the full range of the horn to great effect. How often do you go from low Bb to high F# (and every note in between) in one solo?
The solo is definitely tough to play. I only dust off my soprano once a year, and it shows. The recording itself is off by about 25 cents, so I had to shove my mouthpiece way in, making my normal intonation struggles on soprano even worse. Overall I rate myself about a D on this one, but it was a good challenge for me.Wayne Shorter - Walkin'
Here’s a video of the performance, recorded for the VHS release (which I had!) The description indicates that Bobby didn’t know that this duet was going to happen, which is ridiculous. Of course it was planned, arranged, rehearsed, and executed beautifully. The video cuts out a section, so be sure to check out the full track.
- Artist: Wayne Shorter
- Album: Bobby McFerrin – Spontaneous Inventions
- Track: Walkin’
- Instrument: Soprano Sax