Remembering Wayne Shorter: A Tribute to His Life & Discography

We remember the incredible jazz composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter for his legendary discography and career.

Wayne Shorter, the legendary jazz saxophonist, passed away yesterday, March 2, 2023, at eighty-nine. Shorter’s influence on the jazz genre was immense, and he was widely admired in both the jazz and classical music worlds.

Shorter co-founded the influential jazz-fusion group Weather Report (their “Heavy Weather” is a jazz-fusion masterpiece) and was a member of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet along with legends such as Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter. His prolific early work with Art Blakey and Miles Davis and his prodigious career as a bandleader gained him a place in the pantheon of great jazz musicians. He was also a noted composer and arranger; many of his compositions have become jazz standards. His albums, including Speak No Evil (my favorite) and Adam’s Apple, are widely regarded as classics of the genre.

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Wayne Shorter Discography & Legacy

Shorter’s influence on jazz music was wide-reaching. His compositions, which often blended jazz, classical, and Latin music elements, were both highly complex and deeply spiritual. He was also known as the preeminent master in the use of the soprano saxophone, and he was widely respected for his improvisational skill.

Throughout his career, Shorter was widely recognized as one of his era’s most influential jazz musicians. He was inducted into the DownBeat magazine Hall of Fame in 2003 and awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He also received the highly prestigious Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2018. Shorter’s death marks the end of an era for jazz music, and he will be remembered as one of the most excellent jazz musicians ever, as he should.

If you’re not familiar with Wayne Shorter’s discography or want to refamiliarize yourself, this playlist is an excellent place to start:

Here are some of my favorite albums that Wayne Shorter either wrote for, played on, or was a bandleader on. Enjoy.

Wayne Shorter-“Speak No Evil”

Art Blakey-“A Night In Tunisia”

Wayne Shorter-“Adam’s Apple”

Miles Davis-“Miles Smiles”

Wayne Shorter-“Native Dancer”

Miles Davis-“Nefertiti”

Wayne Shorter-“Emanon”

Weather Report-“Heavy Weather”

Miles Davis-“E.S.P.”

Wayne Shorter-“Night Dreamer”

Miles Davis: “Bitches Brew”

Weather Report-“The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981”

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