Wednesday, May 12, 2010

for wayne shorter (13)

for wayne shorter
(1933 -- )

perhaps the music’s greatest living
composer, yr organic conceptions
of fissioning melody, harmony,
& rhythm took the state of play in a
fresh direction. one of the few young
composers who could take a piece
to miles & get it back unchanged;
get the band to play it like u wrote
it, conforming precisely to its often
bopish, sometimes modal structure,
swiveling where it said to swivel,
snaking where it said to snake,
crossing over the tonic center from
the consonant right or weaving back
over the new middle from the
dissonant left in densely dreaded
unison plaits that changed the sound
of jazz, that changed fluidly, like yr
own rollins-like tenor style, with its
ripping, runaway trane asymmetries
to the coruscating color of yr rhythmic,
interval leaping soprano solo voice
chanting its own mystical name &
transfiguring signature, its new motifs
& alternate insights assigned to
randomness, new denouements &
meticulous untyings of personal meaning –
rushing in where boppers fear to tread!

© Joseph McNair; 2010

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