I just bumped into my friend Wes Matthews, who recently graduated from NEC with a masters in composition. (Wes was a Brookmeyer guy when I was there.) As I mentioned last month, Wayne Shorter was on hand at the graduation itself to receive an honorary doctorate. According to Wes, Wayne did not speak, but his pianist and NEC faculty member Danilo Perez did to introduce him. In describing rehearsing with Wayne, Danilo talked about grappling with the instruction "Play that chord with more water."
It reminded me of an anecdote I got third-hand about someone who got to be a fly on the wall for a rehearsal of the Miles quintet of the 60's (Herbie/Wayne/Ron/Tony). The storyteller remembered that, well, the music was amazing, and that all the instructions and conversations about the tunes used only words about color. "It needs more red right there." "Tony, more blue, cmon!" That's the kind of band I want.
Speaking of Wayne, this video has been making the rounds (via rifftides). No date, but I'm guessing early 80's? Wayne, er, showing Scott Hamilton a couple of things in a jam session blues. I have to ask myself, though, who dreamed up a "tenor battle" with Scott Hamilton, Lew Tabakin (so far okay) and Wayne? I can just imagine Miles saying "somebody should take a sign and picket the festival..."