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The jazz saxophone superhero is dead

What a hilariously funny dude Wayne Shorter was, you could see in a photo that circulated a year ago.

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The jazz saxophone superhero is dead

What a hilariously funny dude Wayne Shorter was, you could see in a photo that circulated a year ago. The saxophonist sat there, gesticulating passionately, next to the bassist Esperanza Spalding, with whom he had co-written the opera "Iphigenia", which celebrated its world premiere in Boston at the end of 2021 with a stage set designed by Frank Gehry. Shorter, the grizzled composer and grand seigneur of jazz, wore a T-shirt. Based on the famous Beatles shirts, only names were written on it: Miles, Herbie, Ron, Tony

Just how appropriate it was to wear that shirt and cross-reference pop culture with a wink is now sadly revealed: the death of Wayne Shorter is, for jazz, quite comparable to the death of John Lennon. Shorter was not only a style-defining figure in two supergroups of improvised music, Miles Davis and the band Weather Report, but also the author of pieces for eternity. The "Imagine" or "Working Class Hero" for the improvisation community was penned by the tenor and soprano saxophonist born in Newark, New Jersey in 1938 and is called "Footprints", "Black Nile", "Infant Eyes" or "Nefertiti". .

Shorter's merit was always being there when there was something new in jazz and bringing those innovations into a universal form. For example, when in 1959, as a newcomer, he rose to become musical director with drummer grandmaster Art Blakey and shaped hard bop and then released a series of great records on the "Blue Note" label. Or when he signed up with Miles Davis in 1964 and let the trumpeter's groundbreaking second quintet find the balance between binding and free as an “idea man” (Davis). Commercially, Shorter was most successful as a co-founder of the fusion formation Weather Report, which gave a human face to glamorous jazz rock in the 1970s.

After the dissolution of this group, which certainly deserved its own T-shirt (Joe, Jaco, Peter

Dubbed "the greatest living jazz composer" by The New Yorker magazine, Shorter was ruthless in his songwriting in the service of creating sonic beauty in the moment. Shorter once revealed to the author of these lines that he does not speak of “songs” or “tunes” in his compositions. "I'm never done with my music. In a book you can write The End. But music is beyond our control.”

For his 85th birthday in 2018, Shorter once again set a striking example: A triple album with a 34-piece orchestra and concert recordings of his quartet, plus an 80-page graphic novel by artist Randy DuBurke, which results from discussions about the Big Bang theory, the shorter with scientists from Stanford University

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