American jazz sax great WAYNE SHORTER died on Thursday 2nd March. He was aged 89 and his publicist said he died surrounded by his family. It’s known that he’d been in poor health  for some time.

Shorter began his garlanded career (he was a 12-time Grammy award winner) in the 50s when he worked with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers for whom he became MD. In 1964 he joined the Miles Davis group where he began his musical relationship with Herbie Hancock. Despite being a part of that group, he also released solo sets including ‘Speak No Evil’, ‘Night Dreamer’ and ‘JuJu’.

Enjoying  the freedom of working as a soloist, he broke from Davis  to form his own group, Weather Report where he began fusing  jazz with rock and Latin music. Amongst Weather Report’s most acclaimed LPs is 1977’s ‘Heavy Weather’ which went platinum and reached the US top 30 charts. In  the late 70s the saxophonist again worked with Freddie Hubbard and Hancock in VSOP. The group eventually recorded the 1994 Grammy-winning album ‘A Tribute to Miles’, following Davis’s death.

Since his death was announced tributes have poured in. Herbie Hancock today tweeted: “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 . . .”

Leave a Comment