Wayne Shorter Biography (BBC)
Saxophonist. He first came to public attention as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1959, but by that time Wayne Shorter had already gathered plenty of musical experience. He had studied music at NYU, and after playing in various army bands during his military service, he had been a member of Maynard Ferguson's big band.
But he had also studied informally with John Coltrane - the two men practising together to develop Shorter's formidable command of the tenor and (later) soprano sax. With Blakey, Shorter became the music director of the Jazz Messengers, developing his talents as a writer and arranger along with his playing.
When he left in 1963, he started making discs under his own name, with a cross section of the leading jazz musicians of the period, but at the same time he joined Miles Davis's quintet, becoming part of one of the trumpeter's most influential and experimental bands.
Shorter's writing for the Davis group on pieces like ESP and Nefertiti demonstrated his knack for creating memorable tunes, even in settings that had complex or abstract harmony. Davis's band moved inexorably towards jazz-rock in the late 1960s, and in 1970 Shorter teamed up with keyboard player Joe Zawinul to found Weather Report, one of the leading fusion bands of the decade, with which he remained until 1985.
Between times , Shorter continued to lead his own groups on disc and on tour, and also played in Herbie Hancock's band VSOP. He appeared with Hancock in the film Round Midnight, and later worked with him in other settings, including a duo.
Shorter went on leading his own groups in the 1990s, but his new quartet founded in 2001 with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Pattitucci, and drummer Brian Blade is his finest for many years, and has acquired a justified international reputation for its appearances in the world's great concert halls and festivals. In it, Shorter has once more found the ideal balance between his writing and playing.
Wayne Shorter Biography (Wikipedia)
Wayne Shorter (born August 25, 1933) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Many of Shorter's compositions have become jazz standards, and his output has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise and various commendations.
Shorter first came to wide prominence in the late 1950s as a member of, and eventually primary composer for, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In the 1960s, he went on to join Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, and from there he co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report. He has recorded over 20 albums as a bandleader.
Shorter has won 10 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 has described Shorter 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.
Wayne Shorter Tracks