A Life in Jazz: Remembering Wayne Shorter | Playlist

Visionary jazz artist Wayne Shorter passed away at the age of 89. Throughout the course of a stellar career, spanning over six decades, he made indelible contributions to the development of jazz music. Shorter first gained prominence in 1959, when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as a 26-year-old tenorist, transforming the group into a modern jazz powerhouse with his innovative improvisations and contributing several compositions to the ensemble’s repertoire. He eventually signed a recording deal as a solo artist with Blue Note, the label with which he released a remarkable series of classic albums between 1964-1970, including Juju, Speak No Evil and Adam’s Apple, among others.

Shorter also subsequently worked with Miles Davis and was a member of the trumpeter’s innovative quintet with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. In 1970, he co-founded one of the most beloved jazz fusion supergroups of all time, Weather Report, with keyboardist Joe Zawinul. From 2001, he led his acclaimed quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Over the course of his incredible career, Shorter created over 200 compositions and many of his works have become modern standards. He was recognized with numerous awards, including being named an NEA Jazz Master and receiving 13 GRAMMYs, as well as a Kennedy Center Honor in 2018. Most recently, his solo on “Endangered Species” from Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival earned him a GRAMMY Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.

JAZZIZ Managing Editor Robert Weinberg has put together a playlist of some of Wayne Shorter’s most acclaimed compositions. You can listen to it via the player below.

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