Wayne Shorter ( 1933-2023 )
sat 11 mar 2023
Wayne Shorter passed away on March 2, 2023 – he was 89.
In a career that spans about fifty years, he grew into one of the greatest jazz composers and saxophonists. He experienced all style developments, from hard bop to fusion, playing, composing and leading, and often at the forefront. His oeuvre includes more than 200 pieces. Several dozen of them became standards.
In 1959, Shorter fronted Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers alongside trumpeter Lee Morgan. He soon became the musical director, delivering countless compositions and arrangements that left their mark on Blakey’s famous hard bop formation for five years.
After five years of Messengers, he switched to Miles Davis in 1964, and became part of the line-up – with Herbie Hancock on piano and Tony Williams on drums – known as Miles’ Second Great Quintet. Over the years, the music of this group has become increasingly free. The quintet falls apart in 1968, but Shorter continues to play with Davis. In 1969 the first jazz fusion albums were released: In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Shorter increasingly opts for the soprano sax.
Between 1964-1979, Shorter records a number of albums under his own name at Blue Note Records – with varying line-ups. In 1964 Night Dreamer, Speak No Evil and Juju appeared.
From 1971 to 1986, Shorter led the acclaimed fusion group Weather Report, with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and successively Miroslav Vitous and Jaco Pastorius on bass. Funk is one of the many styles that the formation incorporates.
In 2000 he formed a new acoustic group, a quartet with Danilo Pérez on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Among other things, four live recordings are the lasting result.
The above only gives a rough and incomplete picture of Shorter’s richly varied musical life. He also toured with guitarist Carlos Santana, played on a number of records by singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and composed the music for an opera, Iphigenia.
——————- The Concertzender is dedicating a number of programs to Wayne Shorter.
Saturday March 11th, 6:00 PM – Vocal Jazz (Ineke Heijliger) “The Vocal Wayne Shorter” Shorter composed an extensive oeuvre. Many of his pieces received a vocal version, with lyrics by Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy, among others. See the Guide.
Saturday March 18th, 5:00 PM – House of Hard Bop (Eric Ineke) The spotlight is on two Blue Note albums from 1964: Night Dreamer and the masterpiece Speak No Evil. See the Guide.
Saturday March 25th, 8:00 PM – Jazz Piano (Tilmar Junius) Compositions by Shorter, played by pianists Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Copland and Kenny Kirkland. Also music by Shorter’s musical partners Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.
Saturday 25th March, 23:00 – The Art of the Improvisers (Ken Vos) Shorter’s Weather Report period, 1971-1986.