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Wayne Shorter 1933-2023

Wayne Shorter (August 25, 1933 – March 2, 2023) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Shorter came to prominence in the late 1950s as a member of, and eventually primary composer for, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In the 1960s, he joined Miles Davis‘s Second Great Quintet, and then co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report. He recorded more than 20 albums as a bandleader.

Known as one of the most influential hard-bop musicians and a pioneer of jazz-rock fusion music, many of Shorter’s compositions have become jazz standards, and his music has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise, and many accolades.

Shorter was an integral member of three groups that changed the direction of the genre: He came to prominence via Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1960s, enlisted as a member of Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet later that decade, and then went on to form the pioneering fusion band Weather Report with synth monster Joe Zawinul in 1970. One could surmise that even if he’d never released an album under his own name, Wayne Shorter would have gone down as one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century.

While the Jazz and Music world mourns the loss of a great, there’s comfort knowing that Wayne’s spirit (an avid practitioner of Buddhism) will remain with us, especially through his music. Below area few “essential” recordings.

Rest in Peace, Wayne Shorter .