Wayne Shorter Inspires

1) Kennedy Center Honoree 2018

Wayne Shorter is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist, who expressed surprise when chosen for the honor. He has collaborated with several top musicians, including Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana.

“I’m one of the few who stayed in the front trenches, stayed in the struggle to inspire people. Some people may have wanted to give me an award for effort. This award is cutting through all the politics and all of that,” Wayne Shorter adds. “I’ll stay in the trenches with the artists. I’m not getting all up at arms about somebody from the White House possibly being there.”

Shorter practices Nichiren Buddhism as taught in the organization Soka Gakkai International. Two years ago, Shorter joined fellow jazz giant and Buddhist Herbie Hancock in writing an open letter to young artists, that appeared in Lion’s Roar.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. on December 2nd, and broadcast on CBS on December 26th.

2) Eamon Project

Eamon includes an original graphic novel, a cosmic-heroic odyssey written by Wayne Shorter with help from screenwriter Monica Sly, and featuring art by Randy DuBurke, along with three discs of new music.

Art from the graphic novel ‘Emanon’ by Randy DuBurke.

Recorded with his trusty quartet consisting of Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) augmented by the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Emanon is a physical-only release that will be available in two versions; a Standard Edition that packages 3x CDs with the graphic novel, and a Deluxe Edition that packages 3x 180-gram vinyl LPs and 3x CDs with the graphic novel enclosed in a beautiful hardcover slipcase.

Emanon will be released on August 24 and is available for preorder through Blue Note and Amazon.

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Kennedy Center Honors Carlos Santana

I take pride as a Santana fan about the relevance of Carlos Santana’s being selected  to receive 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.

“From his legendary performance at Woodstock to his sweep at the 2000 Grammys and beyond, Carlos Santana’s artistry transcends genres while entertaining millions.”

Carlos Santana (Maryanne Bilham)

I find it spiritual karma that close friend of Carlos Santana’s Herbie Hancock was also selected to be honored on the same evening December 8th. The Kennedy Center Honors offers patrons of the arts a rare view of the honoree witnessing the adulation of their music friends  performing the awardees music.

Last year’s broadcast featured Heart, Jason Bonham and a full choir performing for Led Zeppelin a mesmerizing live music tribute of “Stairway To Heaven”.

I wonder what music artists and songs will be performed on December 8th to honor Carlos Santana?

The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Television Network for the 36th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Sunday, December 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

Other honorees joining Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock on this special evening include opera singer Martina Arroyo; pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel; and actress Shirley MacLaine.

Carlos Santana said he was delighted to be part of this party and that, for him, music is “a calling.”

“I guess people understand that Santana is not just a Mexican guitar player – I bring a collective-consciousness awareness agenda with me,” said Santana, who moved to San Francisco from Mexico with his family when he was six. “I grew up with the generation of Woodstock and Bob Marley, ‘One Love,’ and ‘Imagine,’ John Lennon. I am one of them, and we don’t do what we do to be commercial or to be popular or to be cute. It’s not entertainment or show business for us. For us, it’s a calling.”

He said his musical life has been about bridging cultures, drawing on sounds of Africa, Latin America and American Indians, as well as rock, jazz and the blues to create something new.

Last year, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts complained the Kennedy Center had long excluded Latinos from the honors. Of the more than 180 past honorees, only two had been Hispanic — Placido Domingo, the acclaimed Spanish tenor, and Chita Rivera, the actress and singer of Puerto Rican descent — the group said.

The criticism has thankfully led to a revised selection process this year, including the solicitation of nominations from the public, and a new committee of artists and officials to help narrow the potential honorees. Santana has been a contender in recent years for his strong credentials, said show producer George Stevens Jr.

The Things That I Used To Do – Guitar Slim

I am listening to Buddy Guy‘s biography, “Why I Left Home: My Story”. He talks about his early influences, highlighting Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) with deep reverence and respect.  I was fascinated to learn that Buddy Guy loved his recording, “The Things I Used To Do” so much that he played it every day for two years straight. Surprisingly I had never heard this Guitar Slim recording before so I used the Google search engine to get more information about why “The Things I Used To Do” had such a powerful impact on Buddy Guy.

It was one of the biggest hits in the Specialty Record label’s history and stayed on the rhythm and blues charts for 42 weeks.[4] The song held at #1 for six weeks, and was the best-selling R&B record of the year (1953), selling more than a million copies.[2]

I gave “The Things I Used To Do” by Guitar Slim himself a couple of listens. I liked what I heard in this 12 bar blues standard but I wasn’t bowled over by it. Maybe I had the wrong expectations about this song, so I kept listening and interpreting.

I then decided to listen to it through Buddy Guy’s performances and it took a stronger hold with me.

I had no idea so many musicians had recorded a cover version of Guitar Slim’s bestseller. Such artists as Richie Havens, John Mayer, and Stevie Ray Vaughn just to name a few.

I especially liked that Jimmie Vaughn and Gary Clark Jr. joined together to do “The Things That I Used To Do” as a heartfelt tribute for Buddy Guy at The Kennedy Center Honors recently.

Buddy Guy A True Legend

I have had the good fortune to see Buddy Guy perform live five times in my life. I have seen him at Toads Place with John Mayer, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert with Jeff Beck(2009),  the 200 Year Salute to the Blues at Radio City Music Hall(2003) and Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport (twice).  He is always the consistent showman who possesses this incredible knack of coaxing the blues out of his polka dot guitar.

It has been an exciting and rewarding time for Buddy Guy these past few months. He received the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors on December 2nd, 2012. It was a well deserved recognition for one of our national treasures.

Here is the CBS video segment about the Buddy Guy tribute in its entirety.

At age 76 Buddy Guy shows no signs of slowing down. If anything he has picked up momentum. He is playing his 16 night annual Winter residency at his Buddy Guy Legends Club in Chicago right now.

Biography

Last year Buddy Guy released a biography co-authored with David Ritz. David Ritz has written some great music biographies about B.B. King, Ray Charles to name a few. I ordered this item as my new Audible audio book to listen to in the car.

Buddy Guy Live At Legends

Buddy Guy released last month a live audio CD of a past Winter residency that was recorded at his old Legends Club in January 2010. It also includes as a bonus three studio tracks. I’m listening to this on Spotify 😉

He appeared on the David Letterman Show last night with his band to promote that recording. He performed “Damn Right I Got The Blues“.

Dave Grohl’s Alegiance to Sound City Galvanizes His Music Direction

Little did everyone realize that when Dave Grohl announced at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park NYC on September 30, 2012 that he was taking a hiatus from the Foo Fighters the significance of that pivot point in his music career.

Before playing ‘Learn To Fly’, the group’s fourth song of the night, Grohl said: “Without making a big deal out of it, we
don’t have any shows after this. This is it, man. Honestly I don’t know when we’re gonna do it again…and this is the perfect place to do it.”

Krist Novoselic, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl has been incredibly busy since that event. He played drums at the Kennedy Center Honors for Led Zeppelin on December 3rd. He appeared with Sir Paul McCartney and members of Nirvana at 12-12-12 and then on the Christmas SNL show.

Sound City Studios

Dave has produced a labor of love movie about Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, California, Sound City. This studio has been the birthplace of many of the greatest recordings in rock and roll history. The studio has since closed but we get to visit it once again through the miracle of  the camera lens.

I really feel like SOUND CITY is my life’s most important work. I hope you do too. – Dave Grohl

Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin, Copyright Kevin Estrada

Sound City

There is a companion motion picture soundtrack, Real to Reel with many new tracks recorded through the 1970’s Neve Sound Board Dave Grohl purchased from Sound City Studios.

The making of this film and the soundtrack initiates the nucleus of an innovative sound direction for Grohl and friends.

Dave Grohl will debut a new supergroup, named Sound City Players, at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the Sound City movie will début reports Rolling Stone. The track listing above gives a good sign as to who that new supergroup may feature 😉

2013 promises to be an extremely busy and productive year for Dave Grohl. He will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 14. He will also be drumming on the forthcoming Queens Of The Stone Age album.