Wayne Shorter on "Just in Time"

The great Wayne Shorter left us this morning, and I thought I'd dig up an incomplete but treasured transcription from the late summer of 2015 to share with everybody. The provenance of this recording is still under debate; it seems like most internet sources suggest it's from the Village Vanguard in August '65, but there's no evidence of this band playing there at that time. I think Chris McCarthy was the first person who shared this bootleg with me, and his source indicated the Jazz Gallery (the old one, in Greenwich Village) in April '65, but I don't find any other sources corroborating this.

Needless to say, the band is on fire and Wayne is in his element playing burning acoustic jazz live in a small NYC club. The fluidity and casual virtuosity of his lines are in full display here over one of the most textbook set of changes (in Bb, no less), a marvelous showcase in constructing horizontal arcs of sound with swathes of harmonic color underpinned by meticulous voice leading. Having just finished music school a few months before transcribing this, I was looking for a musical guide to bridge into modernity, and there was no better person to study than Wayne. Forward to today, and Wayne would have been roughly my age now when he was documented performing here–talk about some perspective.

Fortunately in 2023, the naysayers of Wayne have more or less faded into perpetual obscurity, and we have some comfort in the extensive sonic and compositional legacy of his music, which continues to ring out into the universe for all time. 

Thanks for the endless inspiration, Wayne Shorter.





The solo starts around 11:10 here: