US jazz musician Wayne Shorter dies

Wayne Shorter was considered one of the greatest representatives of jazz. The saxophonist, who played with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, has died at the age of 89.

US jazz musician Wayne Shorter dies
US jazz musician Wayne Shorter dies


Influential jazz musician and pioneering saxophone player Wayne Shorter, who composed classics such as "Lester Left Town," "Nefertiti", "E.S.P." and "Footprints," has died in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 89, his spokeswoman, Alisse Kingsley, and record label Blue Note Records confirmed.

Born in the US state of New Jersey in 1933, Shorter's extraordinary talent was apparent early on. He was considered a jazz prodigy even as a teenager, first learning the clarinet before switching to the saxophone.

He and his brother started playing in small clubs, going by the names of "Mr. Weird" and "Doc Strange." They wore dark sunglasses while performing, and "had wrinkled clothes, because we thought you played bebop better with wrinkled clothes," Shorter told The Atlantic magazine in 2004."You had to be raggedy to be for real."

After studying music at New York University, he spent two years in the US Army, where he played with renowned jazz pianist Horace Silver.

Jazz and fusion

In the course of his long career, he played with greats including Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Herbie Hancock, as well as in the famous jazz fusion formation Weather Report, which was influential in style at the time.

Wayne Shorter's group was interested in technological innovations in music and experimented with rock, funk and R'n'B and electronic elements. His collaboration with Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Carlos Santana introduced him to a wider audience.

A life lived for music

Shorter was one of the last living jazz greats with roots in the genre's 1950s heyday, when jazz was played in dance halls while also gaining prominence in intellectual circles. He "shaped the color and contour of modern jazz as one of its most intensely admired composers," wrote The New York Times in its obit.

He continued to tour despite his age for a long time, and struggled with health issues — which however did not stop him from composing an opera with bassist Esperanza Spalding that premiered in 2021.

"Wayne is a real composer" with "a kind of curiosity about working with musical rules," Miles Davis recalled in his autobiography. "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."

db/eg (dpa, AFP)

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines