The American jazz composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter was born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey. Shorter is considered to be one of the greatest living jazz composers. Many of the compositions by Shorter are now jazz standards. Shorter has received widespread critical praise, worldwide recognition and numerous awards, including several Grammy awards, for his work. As a bandleader, Shorter has recorded more than twenty albums.
Shorter first achieved recognition during the late 1950s after joining the Art Blakey group Jazz Messengers in 1959 as a member and then later as the primary composer. In 1964, Shorter joined the Miles Davis group Second Great Quintet. Other group members included Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock. The group is considered by many critics and musicians as one of the all time most influential jazz groups, with the compositions of Shorter’s being the main reason. During Shorter’s time with the quintet, he also recorded several albums of his own compositions with Blue Note Records. The quintet broke up in 1968, but Shorter stayed with Davis’ band until 1970 and performed on the 1969 albums Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way.
Shorter then co-founded Weather Report, a jazz fusion band, in 1971 with keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Other original members of the group included drummer Alphone Mouzon, percussionist Airto Moreira and bassist Miroslav Vitous. The group broke up in 1985.
Shorter toured with the V.S.O.P. quintet during the late 1970s through the early 1980s. During this time, he also recorded several highly acclaimed albums in the role of bandleader, with one of the most notable being the 1974 album Native Dancer, featuring Herbie Hancock and Milton Nascimento, the Brazilian vocalist and composer. Shorter appeared on ten of Joni Mitchell’s studio albums from 1977 to 2002. He also had a long solo on “Aja,” the title track for the 1977 Steely Dan album.