I have to say that when Wayne Shorter started leading a small group again and I heard them, what they were doing—he’s always been an inspiration for me, but I think that the way that they were doing it was so, I hate the word “revolutionary,” but revolutionary! It was a way of taking the songs and then throwing out your assumptions about the way they’re supposed to be played, and who’s supposed to play what part, and what’s supposed to happen when, and what does the idea of tempo, and key, and texture mean. And they shook it all up and poured it out on the table and it’s this beautiful mosaic of all the constituent parts of the music—but without the glue of all of our assumptions about the way it’s supposed to be.
I like the part about assumptions. One of my major musical breakthroughs came when i realized that my preconceptions about what I was expected to play or what I thought people wanted to hear were all baloney.
The rest of the DD interview is good as well, and it covers a lot of bases.