How to play Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti”

Hey Improvisers,

Thanks to everyone who has asked me about my Journey Through The Real Book video series, which I’ve now resumed. Here’s the backstory:

When you live in a New York City apartment, it can be tricky to move a piece of furniture across your living room, especially a grand piano.

I found this out in a big way over the past year, when I decided to move my piano a mere 8 feet across the room in order to give my videos a new “look.” Well, those 8 feet might as well have been 80 feet, since one challenge after another presented itself.

First, I had to finish painting the walls of my living room, since I didn’t want to rearrange all the furniture a second time while I painted later on. Without any extra space in another room, this entailed moving a few pieces of furniture at a time away from the walls, painting that section of wall, and then moving the furniture back into place. Then, one of our bedrooms got flooded due to a leaky pipe, and the living room suddenly became cluttered with two beds, dressers, and countless piles of books. Months later (yes – months!), with the bedroom finally renovated, I was able to get the living room in shape for making new videos. But then, as if on cue, my 1906 Mason and Hamlin grand piano began showing its age by needing fairly extensive repair work. Add to these delays the fact that I’ve been performing in public again and it all adds up to a longer-than-expected hiatus from making frequent YouTube videos, especially my Journey Through The Real Book videos.
Luckily, the journey now continues and I’m determined to keep at it until I complete all 400 tunes in The Real Book, 6th Edition, Volume 1!

#255 is a very special composition titled “Nefertiti,” by Wayne Shorter. It was composed for the classic 1960s Miles Davis Quintet and musicians have been wondering how to play it ever since the recording first appeared in 1967. Shorter added to the confusion because each recording of the song seems completely different from previous versions.

So… how DO we play “Nefertiti?”

I’m glad you asked, because I’ve taken a long and deep dive into the tune on this video. You’ll learn the chord voicings to use, and you’ll gain a good perspective on how to approach improvising on it as well.

Correct information on “Nefertiti” is scarce, so I consider this video to be one of my contributions to the jazz scene, now and into the future.

You can check it out here:

Journey Through The Real Book #255: Nefertiti

Next, I’m off to Alaska where I’ll be teaching and performing at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. I’ve been teaching at the festival every summer since 1999 and, with my three stints at their Winter Edition, this will be my 26th trip to Alaska.

I’ll be posting videos from Fairbanks, so say tuned…

All the best,

Learn the 5 Essential Left Hand Techniques with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You’ll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration

Leave a Comment

Sign up for Blog Updates