Wayne Shorter: Legendary jazz saxophonist dies at 89

  • By Brandon Drennan
  • BBC News, Washington

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Wayne Shorter is credited with shaping 20th century jazz

Wayne Shorter, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

A well-known figure on the jazz circuit in the late 1950s, Shorter is credited with shaping 20th-century jazz.

The 12-time Grammy Award winner has played with many greats, including Miles Davis, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

He died Thursday surrounded by his family, his publicist confirmed.

Tributes pouring in from social media shared a common sentiment: gone, but not forgotten.

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In the 1950s, Blakey played with the Jazz Messengers alongside the likes of Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard, eventually becoming the group’s musical director.

But in 1964 he was kicked out by jazz legend Miles Davis after several attempts to become part of Davis’ first Great Quintet. It was there that he played alongside the great pianist Hancock.

Shorter also released solo albums as early as 1959, including Speak No Evil, Night Dreamer and Juju.

Incorporating funk and R&B grooves, Shorter’s Heavy Weather album in 1977 went platinum and reached the US Top 30 charts. He played with the Rolling Stones that year on their album Brides to Babylon.

He reunited with Davis — as well as Hubbard and Hancock — in the second Great Quartet in the late ’70s and recorded the 1994 Grammy-winning album A Tribute to Miles following Davis’ death.

Wayne Shorter was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1933 and began playing the clarinet at the age of 15. He soon moved up to tenor and soprano on saxophone and studied music at university before spending two years in the US Army.

Among the dozen Grammy Awards he has won, Shorter received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

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