Wayne Shorter, a legendary saxophonist in the jazz genre, passed away on April 11 at 89 in Los Angeles. In the late 1950s, Shorter was a well-known personality on the jazz scene, and he is widely recognized for his contributions to the genre throughout the 20th century.
The 12-time Grammy winner collaborated with many other musical luminaries, including Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock. On Thursday, his publicist announced he passed away peacefully in the company of his loved ones. A common thread was running through the outpouring of tributes on social media: they are gone but not forgotten.
Herbie Hancock shared his feelings expressing profound sorrow after hearing of Wayne Shorter’s death via a Twitter post. The following tweet is mentioned below:
Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future. He was ready for his rebirth. As it is with every human being, he is irreplaceable . . . pic.twitter.com/MRVfXhaz8T
— Herbie Hancock (@herbiehancock) March 2, 2023
He joined the Jazz Messengers in the 1950s and played alongside Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard before becoming a musical director. But jazz icon Miles Davis finally succeeded in snatching him away in 1964 to join his First Great Quintet. He performed there with the renowned pianist Hancock.
As early as 1959, Shorter had already issued three critically acclaimed solo albums: Speak No Evil, Night Dreamer, and JuJu. He had more creative flexibility when he recorded solo records. In his next band, Weather Report, he started blending jazz with rock and Hispanic music, creating the sounds that are now so well-known.
Shorter’s 1977 album Heavy Weather, featuring funk and R&B sounds, went platinum into the US top 30. He also performed with the Rolling Stones on their album Brides to Babylon the same year. Following Davis’ passing, he regrouped with Davis, Hubbard, and Hancock to form the Second Great Quartet and record the Grammy-winning album A Tribute to Miles in 1994.
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Wayne Shorter, born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1933, began playing the clarinet when he was 15. As soon as he finished with baritone saxophone, he moved on to tenor and soprano saxophone, and he studied music in college before serving in the US Army for two years. Shorter won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015, one of his 12 Grammys.
In this time of loss, our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, teammates, and friends. Spencer will be greatly missed.
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