070209 Wayne Shorter, Ottawa, ON

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After recovering somewhat from yet another amazing Canada Day in my nation’s capital city I spent the evening of July 2nd, 2009 taking in a spectacular concert courtesy of the good folks at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.  Once again I was onsite for just a single act – my modus operandi for the entire ’09 jazzfest – but that one act was a trio of such proportion that it was easily sufficient to occupy my musical psyche for the evening.

As a matter of fact I had a musical investment in all three members of the Wayne Shorter Trio (if that’s what the group was indeed called, and it very well might not have been).  First you have the host and (possibly the) namesake of the outfit – saxophone legend Wayne Shorter (1933-2023) – who first hit my radar when I exploded into a manic Jaco Pastorius phase.  Jaco’s career was launched when he joined Shorter’s band Weather Report, who’s album Heavy Weather has gone on to be virtually indispensable in any jazz collection.

Then there was bassist John Patitucci, who I first discovered as required listening when I minored in jazz bass in my second year of university.  I had done some pretty intense analysis of his playing (particularly his work on Chick Corea’s album Akoustic Band) and was pretty pumped to hear him too, but then there was…

…the great Brian Blade on drums.  Unless we are just now meeting one another you must know my reverence for both Blade’s drumming and his ever-upbeat demeanour, and you must further know that he is like a metronomical Midas to me: everything he plays on turns to gold.

And so there I was standing amongst many of my like-minded jazzy friends, a fistful of plastic cups in my mitt, watching Wayne Shorter, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade play live music not a hundred feet away, the sky stretching infinitely above me and freedom, liberty, and happiness coming at me from all sides.

Gotta love jazz fest.  And Canada.  And Brian Blade.  And beer.  

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