Wayne Shorter and the Fusion Revolution

The Life of Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter is an American Jazz Composer and Saxophonist. Born August 25th, 1933 in Newark, NJ, Wayne Shorter helped pioneer the Jazz fusion genre.

When they say 'jazz,' I'm thinking of a word called 'the creative process.' It intersects every vein and tributary, avenue, path, that everyone's living. It crosses through there, but it's been contained.

What is jazz fusion?

Jazz fusion was a genre developed in the late 1960s that incorporated jazz into other genres, including rock, funk, and R&B.

Jazz fusion was, and still is, regarded by many as a brilliant and unique take on jazz that pushes the tradition forward. However, many viewed the fusion genre as a mere form of assimilation to popular genres.

Wayne Shorter’s music career came to the forefront in the late 1950s. In his early career, he mastered soprano saxophone, then later moved his focus to tenor saxophone. He became a primary composer of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and later joined Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet.

With Australian keyboardist Joe Zawinul, Shorter co-led the American Jazz fusion band, Weather Report. The group was active from 1970 to 1986. The instrumentation consisted of keyboards, saxophone, bass, drums, and percussion. Together, they won many awards, including the DownBeat ‘Best Album’ award. The group used elements of folk music, R&B, funk, and rock. 

In his later career, Shorter continued to record and lead jazz fusion groups, collaborating with musicians such as Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana. In 1995, he released his first solo recording for seven years, “High Life”, which received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. In 2000, he formed his first permanent quartet under his name, entitled the Wayne Shorter Quartet.


Introducing Wayne Shorter (Vee-Jay, 1959)
Second Genesis (Vee-Jay, 1960)
Wayning Moments (Vee-Jay, 1962)
Night Dreamer (Blue Note, 1964)
JuJu (Blue Note, 1964)
Speak No Evil (Blue Note, 1965)
The Soothsayer (Blue Note, 1965)
Et Cetera (Blue Note, 1965)
The All Seeing Eye (Blue Note, 1965)
Adam’s Apple (Blue Note, 1966)

Schizophrenia (Blue Note, 1967)

Super Nova (Blue Note, 1969)

Odyssey of Iska (Blue Note, 1970)

Moto Grosso Feio (Blue Note, 1970)

Native Dancer (Columbia, 1974) with Milton Nascimento

Atlantis (Columbia, 1985)

Phantom Navigator (Columbia, 1986)

Joy Ryder (Columbia, 1988)High Life (Verve, 1995)
1+1 with Herbie Hancock (Verve, 1997)
Footprints Live! (Verve, 2002)
Alegría (Verve, 2003)
Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve, 2005)
Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter – Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1988 with Carlos Santana (Image Entertainment, 2007)
Without a Net (Blue Note, 2013)
Emanon (Blue Note, 2018)

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