Wayne Shorter, the Jazz Magician

All the magazines around the world have of course featured the news of Wayne Shorter’s passing on March 2, 2023. As a talented composer and saxophonist, one could even speak of a prodigy when it comes to him. Recognized by the greatest from the beginning of his career, he even became part of Miles Davis’ second quintet. However, his crowning achievement came with Weather Report and the release of the album 8:30 in 1979, a double live album released by Arc/Columbia that won a Grammy Award.

This album received an extremely warm reception, both from the public and from many budding musicians fascinated by this legendary group, and it must be said that one understands why by listening to this album. Weather Report was based on collective compositions with the much-lamented Jaco Pastorius, and the group also included Peter Eskine and Erich Zawinul.

If we try to extract what these two composers and instrumentalists (Jaco and Wayne) brought to this group, it is all the foundations of jazz fusion and even smooth jazz that we find in their arrangements and interpretations that borrow from all musical styles. It is no exaggeration to say that Wayne Shorter’s passing shakes the jazz world, because over time and through his creations, Wayne Shorter not only made an exemplary journey, but also did a lot for the African-American community through various musical projects.

Wayne has inspired thousands of musicians over the decades, and it is quite likely that the richness of his work will survive him, as the richness of his compositions is exceptional.


Thierry De Clemensat

USA correspondent

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