Freedom of limits – Miles Davis on Wayne Shorter breaking the musical rules

“Wayne [Shorter] brought in a kind of curiosity about working with musical rules. If they didn’t work, then he broke them, but with musical sense; he understood that freedom in music was the ability to know the rules in order to bend them to your own satisfaction and taste.”

-Miles Davis, in his autobiography

Besides being an amazing tenor and soprano saxophone player, Wayne Shorter has written some of my favorite modern jazz melodies – long floating lines over interesting chords in ways that had never been done before.

Do you want to do something that’s never been done before? Me too! First, we need to learn the rules that we want to “break” then start to bend them, with a musical sense. We learn the limits of the sandbox we live in and start by playing in there first.

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