Goodbye Wayne Shorter
By Carlos Passage
Wayne Shorter helped shape the sound of contemporary jazz.
He was 89.
He died Thursday in Los Angeles, Blue Note Records said. No cause of death was shared.
Wayne Shorter was nominated for 23 Grammy Awards during his career, winning 12 times.
He began playing the clarinet at age 16, but later focused on the tenor sax before entering New York University in 1952.
Upon graduation in 1956, he played with jazz pianist Horace Silver until he was drafted into the army. He served for two years.
In 1964, he was recruited by legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, with whom he played until 1970.
With Miles Davis, Shorter was one of the band’s most prolific songwriters, contributing to hits like “Nefertiti”.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Shorter played with various jazz bands and musicians. He had a 15-year career with the Weather Report group.
Wayne Shorter went on to collaborate with various rock and roll legends. He toured with Carlos Santana in 1988 and contributed saxophone to the Rolling Stones’ 1997 hit album “Bridges to Babylon.” In 1998, Shorter also appeared on jazz pianist Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin World” album.
Other notable musicians Shorter worked with include Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan.
In 1999, Shorter received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee School of music along with legendary rock artist David Bowie, who was also a skilled saxophonist.
Shorter received an honorary doctorate award from NYU in 2010 during the university’s inauguration at Yankee Stadium. In 2015, the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, honored him with a lifetime achievement award.
Herbien Hancock called Shorter his “best friend” in a statement shared with CNN on Thursday. “He left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a searching spirit for the eternal future. I always carry his spirit within my heart.”