|Born||(1933-08-25) August 25, 1933 (age 87)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
|Genres||Modal jazz, crossover jazz, post-bop, hard bop, jazz fusion, third stream|
|Instruments||Tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone|
|Labels||Blue Note, Columbia, Verve|
|Associated acts||Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Joni Mitchell, John Pattitucci, Weather Report|
Wayne Shorter (born August 25, 1933) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
He has recorded over 20 albums as a bandleader.
Many of Shorter's compositions have become jazz standards, and his output has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise and various commendations.
Shorter has won 11 Grammy Awards.
He has also received acclaim for his mastery of the soprano saxophone (after switching his focus from the tenor in the late 1960s), beginning an extended reign in 1970 as Down Beat's annual poll-winner on that instrument, winning the critics' poll for 10 consecutive years and the readers' for 18.
The New York Times described Shorter in 2008 as "probably jazz's greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser".
In 2017, he was awarded the Polar Music Prize.
Early life and career
While in high school Wayne also performed with the Nat Phipps Band in Newark, NJ.
After his discharge, he played with Maynard Ferguson.
In his youth Shorter had acquired the nickname "Mr. Gone", which later became an album title for Weather Report.
Together they toured the US, Japan and Europe, recorded several recognized albums and he also composed pieces for the band.
During this time Shorter "established himself as one of the most gifted of the young saxophonists" and received international acknowledgment.
With Miles Davis (1964–70)
He still is a master.
Wayne was one of the few people who brought music to Miles that didn't get changed."
Davis said, "Wayne is a real composer.
He writes scores, writes the parts for everybody just as he wants them to sound.
... Wayne also 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."
"Blakey's hard-driving, straight-ahead rhythms had brought out the muscularity in Shorter's tenor playing, but the greater freedom of the Davis rhythm-section allowed him to explore new emotional and technical dimensions."
His last live dates and studio recordings with Davis were in 1970.
Until 1968, he played tenor saxophone exclusively.
The final album on which he played tenor in the regular sequence of Davis albums was Filles de Kilimanjaro.
When performing live with Davis, and on recordings from summer 1969 to early spring 1970, he played both soprano and tenor saxophones; by the early 1970s, however, he chiefly played soprano.
Solo Blue Note recordings
Simultaneous with his time in the Davis quintet, Shorter recorded several albums for Blue Note Records, featuring almost exclusively his own compositions, with a variety of line-ups, quartets and larger groups, including Blue Note favourites such as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.
His first Blue Note album (of 11 in total recorded from 1964 to 1970) was Night Dreamer, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in 1964 with Lee Morgan (trumpet), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums).
The later album The All Seeing Eye (rec.
1966) was a workout with a larger group, while Adam's Apple(rec.
1967) was back to carefully constructed melodies by Shorter leading a quartet.
Then a sextet again in the following year for Schizophrenia (rec.
Shorter also recorded occasionally as a sideman (again, mainly for Blue Note) with trumpeter Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and bandmates Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams.
Weather Report (1971–1986)
After Vitous' departure in 1973, Shorter and Zawinul co-led the group until the band's break-up in late 1985.
A variety of musicians would make up Weather Report over the years (most notably the revolutionary bassist Jaco Pastorius) helping the band produce many high quality recordings in diverse styles, with funk, bebop, Latin jazz, ethnic music, and futurism being the most prevalent denominators.
Solo and side projects
In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, he toured in the V.S.O.P. . quintet
This group was a revival of the 1960s Davis quintet, except that Freddie Hubbard filled the trumpet chair.
From 1977 through 2002, he appeared on 10 Joni Mitchell studio albums, gaining him a wider audience.
(1986), the last Weather Report disc.
In 1989, he contributed to a hit on the rock charts, playing the sax solo on Don Henley's song "The End of the Innocence" and also produced the album Pilar by the Portuguese singer-songwriter Pilar Homem de Melo.
He has also maintained an occasional working relationship with Herbie Hancock, including a tribute album recorded shortly after Miles Davis's death with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wallace Roney.
In 1995, Shorter released the album High Life, his first solo recording for seven years.
It was also his debut as a leader for Verve Records.
Shorter composed all the compositions on the album and co-produced it with the bassist Marcus Miller.
High Life received the Grammy Award for best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1997.
Shorter worked with Herbie Hancock once again in 1997, on the much acclaimed and heralded album 1+1.
In 2009, he was announced as one of the headline acts at the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira, Morocco.
His 2013 live album Without a Net (rec.
2010) is his first with Blue Note Records since Odyssey of Iska (rec.
In 2000, Shorter formed the first permanent acoustic group under his name, a quartet with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade, playing his own compositions, many of them reworkings of tunes going back to the 1960s.
Four albums of live recordings have been released: Footprints Live!
live 2001, rel.
2002); Beyond the Sound Barrier (rec.
live 2002–2004, rel.
2005); Without a Net (rec.
live 2010, rel.
The quartet has received great acclaim from fans and critics, especially for the strength of Shorter's tenor saxophone playing.
The biography Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter by journalist Michelle Mercer examines the working life of the musicians as well as Shorter's thoughts and Buddhist beliefs.
Beyond the Sound Barrier received the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album.
Shorter's 2003 album Alegría (his first studio album for 10 years, since High Life) received the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album; it features the quartet with a host of other musicians, including pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Carrington and former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuña.
Shorter's compositions, some new, some reworked from his Miles Davis period, feature the complex Latin rhythms that he specialised in during his Weather Report days.
Lifetime achievement recognition
On September 17, 2013, Shorter received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
On December 18, 2014, the Recording Academy announced that Shorter was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his "prolific contributions to our culture and history".
In 2016, Shorter was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of music composition, the only jazz artist to receive the honor that year.
In 2017, Shorter was announced as the joint winner of the Polar Music Prize.
The award committee stated: "Without the musical explorations of Wayne Shorter, modern music would not have drilled so deep."
In 2018, Shorter was a recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor Award.
Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity
In 2015, producer/director Dorsay Alavi began filming a documentary about the life of Wayne Shorter called Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity.
The film is set to be released in 2020.
In 2016, it was announced that Shorter, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock would begin touring under the name Mega Nova.
Their first show together was on August 24, 2016 at the Hollywood Bowl.
Shorter’s health over the past few years has finally forced him to retire from his near 70-year performing career.
As his health permits, he continues to compose with a particular focus on completing a new operatic work.
Shorter met Teruko (Irene) Nakagami in 1961.
They were later married and had a daughter, Miyako.
Some of his compositions are copyrighted as "Miyako Music" and Shorter dedicated the pieces "Miyako" and "Infant Eyes" to his daughter.
The couple separated in 1964.
Shorter met Ana Maria Patricio in 1966 and they were married in 1970.
In 1985, their daughter Iska died of a grand mal seizure at age 14.
Ana Maria and the couple's niece, Dalila, were both killed on July 17, 1996, on TWA Flight 800, while travelling to visit him in Italy.
Dalila was the daughter of Ana Maria Shorter's sister and her husband, jazz vocalist Jon Lucien.
In 1999, Shorter married Carolina Dos Santos, a close friend of Ana Maria.
Composer and producer Rick Shorter was Shorter's cousin.
Main article: Wayne Shorter discography
- Introducing Wayne Shorter (aka Blues a la Carte, Vee-Jay, 1959)
- Second Genesis (Vee-Jay, rec. 1960, rel. 1974)
- Wayning Moments (Vee-Jay, 1962)
- Night Dreamer (Blue Note, 1964)
- JuJu (Blue Note, 1964)
- Speak No Evil (Blue Note, rec. 1964, rel. 1966)
- The Soothsayer (Blue Note, rec. 1965, rel. 1979)
- Et Cetera (Blue Note, rec. 1965, rel. 1980)
- The All Seeing Eye (Blue Note, rec. 1965, rel. 1966)
- Adam's Apple (Blue Note, rec. 1966, rel. 1967)
- Schizophrenia (Blue Note, rec. 1967, rel. 1969)
- Super Nova (Blue Note, 1969)
- Moto Grosso Feio (Blue Note, rec. 1970, rel. 1974)
- Odyssey of Iska (Blue Note, rec. 1970, rel. 1971)
- Native Dancer (Columbia, rec. 1974, rel. 1975) with Milton Nascimento
- Atlantis (Columbia, 1985)
- Phantom Navigator (Columbia, rec. 1986, rel. 1987)
- Joy Ryder (Columbia, 1988)
- High Life (Verve, 1995)
- 1+1 (Verve, 1997) with Herbie Hancock
- Footprints Live! (Verve, 2002)
- Alegría (Verve, 2003)
- Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve, rec. live 2002–2004, rel. 2005) as Wayne Shorter Quartet
- Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter – Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1988 (Image Entertainment, 2007) with Carlos Santana
- Without a Net (Blue Note, rec. live 2010, rel. 2013) as Wayne Shorter Quartet
- Emanon (Blue Note, 2018)
- 1962: Down Beat Poll Winner New Star Saxophonist
- 1979: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance for Weather Report's 8:30
- 1987: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for "Call Sheet Blues" by Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Billy Higgins (on The Other Side of Round Midnight Featuring Dexter Gordon)
- 1994: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for A Tribute to Miles
- 1996: Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for High Life
- 1996: Miles Davis Award, Montreal International Jazz Festival
- 1997: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for "Aung San Suu Kyi" (on 1+1)
- 1998: NEA Jazz Masters
- 1999: Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Berklee College of Music
- 1999: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "In Walked Wayne" (on J. J. Johnson's Heroes)
- 2003: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for "Sacajawea" (on Alegría)
- 2003: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Alegría
- 2005: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Beyond the Sound Barrier
- 2006: Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award Small Ensemble Group of the Year to the Wayne Shorter Quartet
- 2014: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "Orbits" (on Without a Net)
- 2017: Polar Music Prize
- 2017: The Rolf Schock Prizes in Musical Arts.
- 2018: Kennedy Center Honors
- 2019: Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (Emanon) -- Wayne Shorter Quartet.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne Shorter.