Mr. Wayne Shorter as Carlos Santana lovingly calls him turns 80 years young this year on August 25th. I awoke this morning thinking about his brilliant legacy of jazz compositions and performances.
It’s going to be a rewarding year for us with Mr. Wayne Shorter. I want to share two recent announcements about his career that I am truly excited about. The common chord struck in these events sounded by The Wayne Shorter Quartet.
Wayne Shorter will be honored at the 59th annual Newport Jazz Festival this year on Saturday August 3rd. There will be an 80th birthday celebration for him. Wayne Shorter will appear with his stunning quartet that includes Danilo Perez (pianist), John Pattituci (bassist), and Brian Blade (drummer). There will also be guest stars and friends playing which includes his close friend Herbie Hancock.
The Wayne Shorter Quartet recording Without A Net was first brought to my attention by the NPR Jazz blog,A Blog Supreme. It is highlighted that consensus will prove Without A Net as top of the 15 jazz albums to look out for in 2013. We are getting closer to the actual drop date of that recording, February 5th. I hope you feel the electricity for the eminent release of Without A Net.
On February 1, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Quartet will perform four compositions by Shorter alongside works by Beethoven and Ives at Carnegie Hall.
Without A Net is a 9-track musical thrill ride that consists of live recordings from the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s European tour in late 2011, the one exception being the 23-minute tone poem “Pegasus” which features the quartet with The Imani Winds recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The album features six new Shorter compositions, as well as new versions of his tunes “Orbits” (from Miles Davis’ Miles Smiles album) and “Plaza Real” (from the Weather Report album Procession). The quartet also reinvents the title song from the 1933 musical film Flying Down To Rio, which film buffs know as the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
There are many great guitarists we encounter in this life. A question posed to me recently was, “Who’s your favorite guitarist of all time? And where does Eric Clapton fall on the list?”
Courtesy of Hal Miller
My response is that Carlos Santana is my favorite guitarist of all time. When I hear the notes from Carlos’s finger’s as he plays his Paul Reed Smith guitar I become happily transfixed. Carlos Santana invokes a spirituality that communicates, then transfers the healing power of music.
Musicians are the angel’s messengers and like a shaman they have the mission to cure people who are sick. We each receive a gift in this life that we are allowed to share with others. The gift that Carlos Santana shares with us is his energy and light. He expresses himself to the world through his instrument the guitar in recorded and live form.
I have seen Carlos Santana perform 20 times live in concert. Why see one guitarist play live that many times you might ask? Well it has everything to do with how his artistry and how healing I find the experience to be. It is often said that music solves what ails us. Life poses us many challenges and problems. For me, there is nothing like a Santana concert to remove the blues.
Speaking of the blues that’s where Eric Clapton comes into sharp focus. Eric Clapton has been a blues journeyman much of his life. He is a leading acolyte of the blues tradition. If I had to put together a short list of guitarists in rank order, it would be 1) Carlos Santana(20), 2) B.B. King (9), 3) Jeff Beck (3) and 4) Eric Clapton (4). I have been fortunate to see all of these guitarists live in concert on many occasions as denoted (). I rank Eric Clapton fourth on my list because that’s where he is situated in the music of my heart. I hear B.B. King and Jeff Beck ahead of him because that is how their guitar playing reaches me inside. It’s the nature of the strings and how they are strummed that makes us all one!
Our good friend Bill Ortiz just announced his latest full-release CD, Highest Wish is available for pre-order. If you act now you can get a limited edition signed copy by Bill Ortiz for $15. Pre-orders will be shipping on or about August 15th.
There is also a digital album pre-order option for $9.99. Pre-order of Highest Wish including immediate download of 1 track in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC, or other formats. A link to the complete album will be emailed to you the moment it’s released. You can pre-order this option here.
Visit the Buy/Share Link on Bill’s Highest Wish page here. You can also get an advanced preview of Highest Wish feat. Zumbi of Zion I (Phoenix Black Remix) on that page. It’s tight, check it out.
Or if you’d like click on Bill’ s widget on the right hand side of this blog
Highest Wish officially drops on September 4th.
I will be writing a review about Highest Wish for Bill on this blog soon. My wife and I look forward to catching up with Mr. Ortiz at the Santana East Coast shows with the Allman Brothers Band coming up later this month.
Bill Ortiz is the first artist I did an extensive interview for on this music blog in 2009. It was conducted as a companion piece for his first recording, From Where I Stand. We have been collaborating ever since.
I covered Bill Ortiz’s EP release Winter In America earlier this year. Highest Wish expands greatly upon Winter in America.
So stay tuned more to follow about Bill Ortiz and Highest Wish.
Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week.
The second Santana Shape Shifter radio interview took place on Wednesday May 16, 2012 on Rockline.
I have really come to appreciate the depth and vision of the artwork that Carlos Santana chooses for his album covers. This blog post is dedicated to the visual artists and painters who have created truly memorable Santana art.
I begin with the Santana album by Fillmore West poster artist Lee Conklin, my favorite album cover of all 36 Santana album covers.
I was further blown away by the art of Mati Klarwein whose art became the cover for the second Santana album, Abraxas.
We then jump ahead in time to my favorite of all the visual artists, Michael Rios who has designed five Santana album covers, but is best known for the art for Supernatural.
I am very taken with the artwork by Rudy Gutierrez that became the cover for Shaman.
The cover art of Shape Shifter was created by famed Comanche artist Rance Hood. Rance Hood is one of the few Native American artists who still paints in the manner which echoes the traditional Indian culture and spirituality of the past. His themes are mystical, spiritual, developing his work through the customs and religious practices which were passed down to him.