Death of Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophonist and composer

Member of the Jazz Messengers d’Art Blakey, from Miles Davis Quintet then Weather Report, the American musician died Wednesday in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

By Francis Marmande

“Jazz legend”, “jazz icon”, “jazz giant”? Large Anglo-Saxon press competes in finds. To try to say what? A fairly simple but very difficult thing to utter without clichés: one of the greatest composers (musician) (musician) in the last seventy years, Mr. Wayne Shorter, born in Newark (New Jersey) on August 25, 1933, died March 2 at Los Angeles hospital. He was 89 years old and, in a scientifically verifiable way, 89 ways to invent “jazz” at any time.

Three highlights in his race for intimate requirement: the jazz messengers of drummer art blakey (he will become the musical director); The sharing of the most amazing quintet of Miles Davis, the second (1964-1968), of which he is – dixit Miles – the real designer; The Weather Report group, founded with Joe Zawinul and Miroslav Vitous in 1970.

Grammy Awards as if he were raining; Disks of gold, platinum, cobalt, lithium with shovel; a fervor more philosopher than music lover with his supporters; And the least rowdy, sweetest, strangest personality. The angel of the bizarre at ear.

The big audience will have missed him a little, the French super-festivals will not have been able to do it, the musicians, they were never mistaken. He appears in a dozen albums from the surprising Joni Mitchell, who held him for a painter, a colorist. His relationship to musicians (Terre Lyne Carrington, Joni Mitchell, Esperanza Spalding) is feminine.


jazz? Rock? Not rock? Fusion? His double understanding with Carlos Santana, or very little mapable Steely Dan, do not facilitate the understanding. There is a Wayne Shorter enigma, and this enigma may well be its evidence.

Let’s take it back: in Newark, from the post-war years, Wayne and his brother Al Shorter (1932-1987, Cornet, trumpet, free, long installed in Paris) plunge in the Bebop Revolution (Charlie Parker, Bud Powell , Thelonious Monk). The father, Joseph, is a welder for Singer society, mom Coud, everything is in order. Frangins, body music, are also passionate about drawing, science fiction, radio soap operas and cinematographic mornings of the Adams theater.

In 1945, Wayne won a competition for the first High School public open to visual arts and shows. The teachers push him towards musical theory and composition. With his brother – playing him out of the tenor, it was later that he will become this soprano stylist -, they join the local Bebop group (the insurrection which comes, therefore), cornocked by a singer who did not have Cold in the eyes, Jackie Bland.

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/Media reports cited above.