June 13, 2024

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We have compiled several stories and performances by Wayne Shorter: Videos, Photo

We have compiled several stories, interviews and performances by Shorter who left such a remarkable legacy in the jazz community:

On April 29, 2022, Park Place in Newark was renamed Wayne Shorter Way in honor of one of its most accomplished native sons.

In 2022, Doug Doyle spoke with Howard Bowles, who was a classmate of Shorter at Newark’s Arts High School. Watch there conversation here:

In 2017, Nate Chinen interviewed Shorter about formative years growing up in Newark.

In 1982, Shorter performed his compositions at William Paterson College with a quartet featuring Kirk Lightsey (piano), Rufus Reid (bass) and Steve Bagby (drums). Hosted by Michael Bourne, the concert aired on WBGO as part of the American Jazz Radio Festival.

Our Favorite Wayne Shorter Tracks:

After the recent passing of the legendary Wayne Shorter, we asked our staff and hosts to recommend their favorite track from the influential saxophonist and composer. Interestingly, the selections match the incredible breadth of his career—from his early years with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to his work with Miles Davis Quintet and Weather Report and to finally his recent quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Few artists in jazz history contributed as much over such a long period.

“Night Dreamer” Wayne Shorter (from Night Dreamer, 1964)

Wayne Shorter is the music. Wayne Shorter is the way. He opened a portal to another world of listening, thinking and being. Even in his philosophical, prophetic, and enigmatic conversations, he had a way of pushing us to reach deeper. Growing up, Wayne was like a deity in my house. My father played his music religiously and made me sit and listen with him. However, it wasn’t until an afternoon at Geri Allen’s house about 16 years ago, that I had an encounter with his song “Night Dreamer.” As Geri and I sat in silence listening, I recall wondering, “How could I have lived this long without knowing this song?” I love waltzes and this is without a doubt the hippest, with a groove that is laid-back and, on the edge, simultaneously. Wayne Shorter is and always will be Newark’s own superhero. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound, Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and “Juju” are everywhere to be found. – Monifa Brown, Host, Saturday Evening Jazz

Night Dreamer (Remastered 2004)

“Tom Thumb” Wayne Shorter (from Schizophrenia, 1969)
First of all, how can you ask me to name one favorite song from Wayne Shorter? But, among the many I do love is this one, “Tom Thumb.” I love the composition of the song as well as Herbie Hancock’s slick piano solo and the masterful solo by the master of the alto sax, James Spaulding. – Rob Crocker, Host, Late Night Jazz

Tom Thumb (Remastered)

“Children of the Night” Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers (from Mosaic, 1962)
My 1st wife Tracy (a sister from Brooklyn studying acting) and I lived in Brooklyn Heights in the late 60’s. We would start our weekday mornings by lighting up and putting on Art Blakey’s Mosaic LP, but we always started with Wayne’s composition “Children of the Night.” Then we’d go to 8th street in the Village and have crepes for breakfast. “Children of the Night” was better than coffee for us. This is a powerful recording on all the songs, but for us that was the song of choice. – Rob Crocker, Host, Late Night Jazz

Children Of The Night (2005 Remaster)

“Children of the Night” Wayne Shorter (High Life, 1995)
Given the breadth and scope of his groundbreaking work as both composer and player, it is nearly impossible to choose just one album, let alone one track. As both listener and creative artist, the work that has arguably had the most profound and lasting musical and emotional effect on me is 1995’s High Life on Verve Records. Any track on this album could be used to illustrate the depth of his writing and uniqueness of his exquisite improvisations.

The majestic opener to this magnum opus, “Children of the Night,” still completely floors me in the same profound way it did the very first time I heard it. In addition to the mind-numbing flow of harmonic and melodic ideas and the rich flourishes of color in the arrangement, it also features some of Wayne’s finest “soloing” on record. True to form, he redefines that role in singular fashion. Check out the way his tenor and soprano lines weave in and around each other within the dense swirl of sounds that surround them. This is just one track off one album, from a catalog of recordings that rivals the work of any major musician in the history of modern music, sans genre. – John Newcott, Director of Annual Giving

“Waterfall” Weather Report (from Weather Report, 1971) Listen to this track and you’ll feel a bubbling of excitement within—like something beautiful is in store. In 1971, something truly magnificent was on the horizon as Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Joe Zawinul connected for their very first record as the group Weather Report. Wayne said it best in an interview for a Jazz Night in America episode on Zawinul I had the fortune of producing, with a summation of their creative journey that still gives me chills: “We had a good time—we had an adventure. We liked going for ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ was. We [set out] to try to do some music without capital letters, no paragraphs, no commas, no periods. Let’s just do music that has all that stuff that exists in the world. Like waterfalls, mountain valleys, gullies!” – Trevor Smith, Producer, Jazz Night in America

Weather Report – Waterfall

Wayne Shorter.
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