Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter: “…a central force…”

The music world lost another great yesterday: saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. My first experience with Shorter’s playing was through my love of the fusion jazz group Weather Report, but he played with a huge number of well known artists from so many different genres: Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana and others.

There’s a great video online, purporting to be the last video he did before he died. He tells a great little anecdote about working with Miles Davis, and his little book of tunes that he kept. In that video, he mentions that Miles and he, on the spur of the moment, played one of the tunes (called E.S.P.), and they had the recording engineer press the record button… no rehearsal, just straight to tape! You can hear the result here.

That little story serves to remind us all of keeping a little book (or digital equivalent) of music, tunes, fragments and ideas, because you just never know!

My greatest familiarity with the sound of Wayne Shorter was as he sounded with Weather Report. Such an incredibly versatile musician! I think his duet with Weather Report keyboardist Joe Zawinul is a real gem. RIP Wayne Shorter.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary EwerFollow Gary on Twitter.

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