Wayne Shorter


wayne-shorter-sanremo-631Wayne Shorter was born in Newark, NJ in 1933. He began playing clarinet in high school and later switched to the tenor saxophone. From 1952 to 1956 he studied music at New York University and played in a local bands, including a short stint with pianist Horace Silver before being drafted in 1956. Following his discharge in October 1958 he was recruited by Art Blakey to join his band, the Jazz Messengers. He stayed with Messengers until 1963, contributing much of the band’s repertoire and acting as the musical director. It is this period from 1959 through 1961 that is the subject of this series of podcasts on Wayne Shorter.

Wayne Shorter 1959-1961 - Episode 1

In addition to being an oustanding tenor saxophonist with a very original sound and style, he is equally renowned today as one of the most important jazz composers post 1960. Wayne began to compose a series of uniquely constructed compositions beginning in 1959 that would eventually alter the style of hard bop improvisation and transform the sound of the Messengers. The works on podcast #1 are all from 1959.
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
WrinklesWayne Shorter/Wynton KellyKelly Great!1959
June NightWayne Shorter/Wynton KellyKelly Great!1959
Blues a La CarteWayne ShorterIntroducing Wayne Shorter1959
Down in the DepthsWayne ShorterIntroducing Wayne Shorter1959
Black DiamondWayne ShorterIntroducing Wayne Shorter1959

Wayne Shorter 1959-1961 - Episode 2

Many of the new works that Wayne was composing for the Messengers recordings after 1960 contained sinewy melodies, unexpected harmonies, and often unusual forms. This forced the musicians to change the way they improvised through these new compositions. It was easy for Wayne to play through his own tunes. His style soon began to change and move away from the Coltrane/Rollins influenced approach. The Young Lions session was a great arranging opportunity for Wayne because he had another horn player in the band to fill out his harmonies.
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
The Chess PlayersWayne Shorter/Art BlakeyThe Big Beat1960
Sakeena's VisionWayne Shorter/Art BlakeyThe Big Beat1960
Lester Left TownWayne Shorter/Art BlakeyThe Big Beat1960
The Seeds of SinWayne ShorterThe Young Lions1960

Wayne Shorter 1959-1961 - Episode 3

The recordings on this podcast show Wayne experimenting with unusual harmonic movement and form. He was moving away from the standard format of jazz composition. A number of these works have no definitive tonal or key center and seem to have a floating quality. These works would later form the basis of the Miles Davis Quintet of the mid 1960’s (that included Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock) and Shorter’s great Blue Note recordings from the same period. The 1961 albums included trombonist Curtis Fuller and gave Shorter another musical voice to fill out his arrangements.
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
Pug NoseWayne ShorterIntroducing Wayne Shorter1960
Sincerely DianaWayne ShorterArt Blakey and the Jazz Messengers1960
The AlbatrossWayne ShorterSecond Genesis1960
TenderfootWayne ShorterSecond Genesis1960
El ToroWayne Shorter/Art BlakeyFreedom Rider1961
Children of the NightWayne Shorter/Art BlakeyMosaic1961

Lee Morgan


Morgan 1Lee Morgan was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1938. He was a leading trumpeter and composer recording prolifically from 1956 until 1972. He started playing the trumpet at 13 and his primary stylistic influence was Clifford Brown, with whom he took a few lessons as a teenager. His other major influences included Fats Navarro and Dizzy Gillespie. He joined the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band at age 18 and remained a member for a year and a half until 1958. He began recording for Blue Note Records in 1956, eventually recording 25 albums as a leader for the company. He was also a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records. His playing was technically, melodically, and harmonically advanced. The record buying public and audiences were receptive to his powerful style that exuded the essence of hard bop.

Lee Morgan - Episode 1

CompositionArtistAlbumYear
The SidewinderLee MorganThe Sidewinder1963
NostalgiaFats Navarro1947
The Blues WalkClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
Things to ComeDizzy Gillespie Big Band1946
Hank’s ShoutLee Morgan/Hank MobleyIntroducing Lee Morgan1956
Latin HangoverLee MorganLee Morgan Vol.21956

Lee Morgon - Episode 2

In 1957 Lee continued his busy recording session appearing on many Blue Note releases including John Coltrane's album Blue Train. Joining Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1958 helped further develop his talent as a soloist and composer. He toured with Art Blakey for a few years, and was featured on numerous albums by the Messengers, including Moanin', which is one of the band's best-known recordings. When Benny Golson left the Jazz Messengers, Morgan persuaded Blakey to hire Wayne Shorter, a young tenor saxophonist and composer, to fill the vacancy.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
The Way You Look TonightLee Morgan/Johnny GriffinA Blowing Session1957
Blue TrainLee Morgan/John ColtraneBlue Train1957
Moment’s NoticeLee Morgan/John ColtraneBlue Train1957
Just One of Those ThingsLee MorganThe Cooker1957
Since If Fell For YouLee MorganThe Cooker1957
Moanin’Lee Morgan/Art BlakeyMoanin’1958
Along Came BettyLee Morgan/Art BlakeyMoanin’1958

Lee Morgan - Episode 3

On this podcast I pick up with Lee Morgan’s musical activities in 1959 and 1960. With the addition of Wayne Shorter to Art Blakey’s Messengers the sound of the group began to change with the new compositions Wayne brought to the band. Shorter was using unusual harmonies and forms which affected the way Lee Morgan was approaching improvisation. He also recorded a number of outstanding tracks on the Vee-Jay label with Wayne Shorter. After Morgan left the Messengers in 1961 he did not record as prolifically as he had done the previous 3 years. In 1963 he performed with Grachan Moncur and Jackie McLean on the album Evolution. This signaled a new phase for Morgan’s musical development and career.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Lester Left TownLee Morgan/Art BlakeyAfricaine1959
Paper MoonLee Morgan/Art BlakeyBig Beat1960
ExpoobidentLee MorganExpoobident1960
AfriqueLee Morgan/Art BlakeyWitch Doctor1961
Kozo’s WaltzLee Morgan/Art BlakeyNight in Tunisia1960
Monk in WonderlandLee Morgan/Grachan MoncurEvolution1963

Lee Morgan - Episode 4

On returning to New York in 1963, he recorded The Sidewinder which became his greatest commercial success. Due to the crossover success of "The Sidewinder" in a rapidly changing pop music market, Blue Note Records encouraged its artists to emulate the tune's dance-like back beat. As successful as the Sidewinder was Morgan felt that his playing was much more advanced on the Evolution album, recorded a month earlier. After this commercial success, Morgan continued to record prolifically, releasing close to twenty additional albums as a leader in the 1960’s. In addition Morgan appeared as a sideman on some excellent albums lead by Wayne Shorter, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Lonnie Smith, Elvin Jones, Larry Young, and several more albums with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
The SidewinderLee MorganThe Sidewinder1963
Mr. KenyattaLee MorganSearch for the New Land1964
Search New LandLee MorganSearch for the New Land1964
Night DreamerLee Morgan/Wayne ShorterNight Dreamer1964
Go to My HeadLee MorganGigolo1965
Our Man HigginsLee MorganCornbread1965
CeoraLee MorganCornbread1965

Freddie Hubbard


Hubbard 3Hubbard’s trumpet playing is a combination of all the greats that came before him including Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, and some contemporaries including Booker Little and Lee Morgan. His astounding technique, great range, beautiful sound, and seemingly endless creativity made him one of the most sought after trumpet players of his generation.

Freddie Hubbard - Episode 1

Freddie Hubbard was born in 1938 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He played mellophone and then trumpet in his school band, studying at the Jordan Conservatory. While living in Indianapolis he played with Wes and Monk Montgomery, Larry Ridley, and James Spaulding. Moving to New York in 1958 at the age of 20, he quickly found work playing working with artists like Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, J.J. Johnson, and Eric Dolphy. His debut album, Open Sesame, was released on Blue Note Records in 1960. With his meteoric rise to fame he recorded a series of outstanding albums in quick succession on Blue Note. In late 1961 he replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and stayed with Blakey until 1964, recording a number of albums with The Messengers. He was also featured on four groundbreaking early 1960s recording sessions: Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, and John Coltrane's Ascension. Included in this podcast are his first recordings as a band leader.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
One Finger SnapFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isles1964
LocomotionLee Morgan/John ColtraneBlue Train1957
MilestonesBooker Little/Max RoachBooker Little 41958
All of Nothing at AllFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
Open SesameFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
But BeautifulFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
ByrdlikeFreddie HubbardReady for Freddie1961
Hub TonesFreddie HubbardHub Tones1962

Freddie Hubbard - Episode 2

On this podcast I will highlight some of his best work from the early to mid-1960’s as a sideman. His performances on these recordings set a high benchmark for all subsequent trumpet players. In the 1960’s Freddie recorded or performed with almost every important jazz artist on the scene. His greatest popular success came in the 1970’s with a series of crossover albums on Atlantic and CTI Records. His early 1970’s jazz albums for CTI, Red Clay, First Light, and Straight Life were particularly well received and First Light won a Grammy Award.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Stolen MomentsFreddie Hubbard/Oliver NelsonBlues and Abstract Truth1961
Hoe DownFreddie Hubbard/Oliver NelsonBlues and Abstract Truth1961
It’s You or No OneFreddie Hubbard/Dexter GordonDoin’ Allright1961
CaravanFreddie Hubbard/Art BlakeyCaravan1962
SkylarkFreddie Hubbard/Art BlakeyCaravan1962
Eye of the HurricaneFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockMaiden Voyage1965
One Finger SnapFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isles1964
Wild FlowerFreddie Hubbard/Wayne ShorterSpeak No Evil1964