“A Shorter Story”
The World’s Greatest Jazz Band (Again). It’s 1960 and the world’s greatest jazz band is falling apart. The Miles Davis Quintet—he of the starless black skin who makes you wish you could spit pieces of your broken soul into the twisted metal tubing of a trumpet and have it come out sounding like hellfire on the other end—is losing the world’s greatest living tenor saxophone player, John Coltrane. Trane leaves a terrifying void… and a name to fill it: Wayne Shorter.
It’s four years later and the world’s greatest jazz band is being assembled. The new Miles Davis Quintet features Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and a tenor sax player that Miles has been trying to hire away from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers since a certain Trane whistled his name. Wayne Shorter is already an up-and-coming star, shining on Blue Note recordings like Juju and Speak No Evil, but in the constellation of Miles he burns even brighter. Over their next five albums, the Quintet releases 30 songs. Shorter writes 13 of them.
The Silent Killers. It’s 1969 and jazz is dying, poisoned by the nightshade fusion of Miles Davis. Shorter sticks around long enough to drive a soprano saxophone into its heart, but the real co-conspirator behind the crime is a mad scientist named Joe Zawinul. In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew introduce listeners to a new world: a fusion of acoustic jazz and electric rock. It’s a world Shorter and Zawinul will make their home for the next 10 years, but not before Shorter completes his own Odyssey of Iska.
The Buddhist and the Mad Scientist. On their maiden voyage, Shorter and Zawinul sail straight for the edge of the known world. Down Beat hails it as the Album of the Year. Two years later, Weather Report is confounding fans with its own fusion of experimental jazz and funk. Throughout the frequent lineup changes and fitfully brilliant records, Shorter reinforces his image as the lyrical, mystical oracle of the saxophone with compositions like “Three Crowns” and “Harlequin.” Weather Report is already considered the world’s greatest jazz fusion outfit when they introduce Jaco Pastorius on Heavy Weather, and suddenly the band that looked like it had no room for improvement discovers a whole new level. In the 80s, Weather Report comes back down to earth, and Shorter leaves after Sportin’ Life is released.
Loss and Atlantis. Upon leaving Weather Report, Wayne Shorter resumes his solo career, beginning with Atlantis, which receives a Grammy nomination. Although he will release two more albums for Atlantic, they are overshadowed by the loss of his daughter, Iska, in 1986. Shorter breaks a seven-year silence with the critically acclaimed High Life, but the following year Shorter suffers a second devastating loss when his wife and niece are killed on Flight 800. High Life goes on to win the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album—his first Grammy as a solo artist. Shorter continues to release new albums with Verve into the 21st century, including the Grammy-nominated Footprints Live! and Beyond the Sound Barrier.
INTRODUCING WAYNE SHORTER (1962)
Blues A La Carte / Harry’s Last Stand / Down in the Depths / Pug Nose / Black Diamond / Mack The Knife. Originally recorded on November 10, 1959 and released on elpee in 1962 in the US (Vee-Jay, SR 3006). Re-released with bonus alternate takes. Repackaged as BLUES A LA CARTE. Also repackaged with Wayning Moments and released as Shorter Moments on 2LP in 1972 in the US (Trip, TLX-5009) with different track order and gatefold cover.
WAYNING MOMENTS (1962)
Black Orpheus / Devil’s Island / Moon of Manakoora / Dead-End / Wayning Moments / Powder Keg / All or Nothing at All / Callaway Went That-a-Way. Originally recorded on 1962 and released on Vee-Jay (VJS 3029). Re-released on elpee in 1984 (UK Affinity) and on CD in 1986 (UK Charly). Also released as WAYNE SHORTER FEATURING FREDDIE HUBBARD & EDDIE HIGGINS (with different track order) and as WAYNING MOMENTS – PLUS (with eight alternate takes).
NIGHT DREAMER (1964)
Night Dreamer / Oriental Folk Song / Virgo // Black Nile / Charcoal Blues / Armageddon. Released on mono and stereo elpee in 1964 in the US (Blue Note, BLP-4173/BST-84173). Reissued on stereo elpee in 1977 in Japan (Blue Note/King, GXK 8003) and in May 1984 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, BNJ-71026). Reissued on CD on February 23, 2005 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6490). Re-released on expanded CD with one bonus track (“Virgo – alternate take”) in 1987 in the US (Blue Note, CDP 7 84173 2) and in September 1993 in Japan (Toshiba, BN-4173). Re-released as part of the RVG remaster series in 2004 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-7058), in 2005 in the US (Blue Note, 64467) and Europe (Blue Note, 75334).
Juju / Deluge / House of Jade / Mahjong / Yes Or No / Twelve More Bars To Go. Released on mono and stereo elpee in 1964 in the US (Blue Note (BLP-4182/BST-84182). Reissued on elpee in 1984 in the US (Blue Note, BST-84182, direct metal master), in 1985 in France (Blue Note, BST-84182) and in April 1985 in Japan (Toshiba, BNJ-71056). Reissued on CD in 1987 in the US (Blue Note, CDP 7 46514 2), on October 27, 2003 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-9060) and on September 22, 2005 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6572). Re-released on expanded CD (RVG Series) with two bonus tracks on May 19, 1999 in the US (Blue Note, 99005) and on June 25, 2008 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-7117).
SPEAK NO EVIL (1965)
Witch Hunt / Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum / Dance Cadaverous // Speak No Evil / Infant Eyes / Wild Flower. Originally recorded on December 24, 1964 and released on mono elpee in 1965 in the US (Blue Note, BLP-4194). Reissued on stereo elpee in 1977 in Japan (Blue Note/King, GXK 8007) and in 1987 in France (Blue Note, BST-84194). Reissued on CD in 1987 in the Netherlands (Blue Note, 46509-2) and on January 25, 2006 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6656, 24-bit remaster). Reissued on 180g vinyl elpee + CD combo in 2008 in the US (Blue Note, 99001). Re-released on expanded CD with one bonus track (an alternate take of “Dance Cadaverous”) on January 14, 1988 in the US (Blue Note, 46509). Re-released on expanded CD as part of the RVG Edition series in 1999 in the US (Blue Note, 99001-2, RVG Edition) and on July 23, 2008 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-7129).
THE ALL SEEING EYE (1966)
The All Seeing Eye / Genesis // Chaos / Face of The Deep / Mephistopheles. Originally recorded on October 15, 1965 and released on mono and stereo elpee in 1966 in the US (Blue Note, BLP-4219/BST-84219). Reissued on stereo elpee in 1977 in Japan (Blue Note/King, GXK-8004). Reissued on CD on September 12, 2000 in the US (Blue Note, 24543) as part of the RVG Edition series. Reissued on 180g vinyl elpee and CD on July 12, 2004 in the US (Blue Note, B1-29100/29100-2) as part of the Connoissuer Series.
ADAM’S APPLE (1966)
Adam’s Apple / 502 Blues (Drinkin’ and Drivin’) / El Gaucho / Footprints / Teru / Chief Crazy Horse. Released on stereo elpee in 1966 in the US (Blue Note, BST-84232). Reissued on elpee in August 1985 in Japan (Toshiba, BNJ-71093). Reissued on 24-bit remaster CD on December 21, 2005 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6623). Re-released on expanded CD as RVG Edition series with one bonus track (“The Collector”) on September 9, 2003 in the US (Blue Note, 80912) and in 2003 in Europe (Blue Note, 91901-2).
Tom Thumb / Go / Schizophrenia / Kryptonite / Miyako / Playground. Originally recorded on March 10, 1967 and released on stereo elpee in 1969 in the US (Blue Note, BST-84297). Reissued on elpee in 1977 in the UK (Blue Note, BNS-40026). Reissued on CD on July 18, 1995 in the US (Blue Note, 32096) and on March 23, 2006 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6690).
SUPER NOVA (1970)
Supernova / Sweet Pea / Dindi / Water Babies / Capricorn / More Than Human. Originally recorded on August 29 and September 2, 1969 and released on elpee in 1970 in the US (Blue Note, BST-84332). Reissued on elpee in 1977 in Japan (Blue Note/King, GXF-3019) and in 1978 in Japan (Blue Note/King, FRP 5-7). Reissued on CD on January 19, 1988 in the US (Blue Note, 84332) and on March 23, 2006 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-6694, 24-bit remaster).
ODYSSEY OF ISKA (1971)
Wind / Storm / Calm / Depois Do Amor, O Vazio / Joy. Originally recorded in August 1970 and released on elpee in 1971 in the US (Blue Note, BST-84363).
WAYNE SHORTER (1973)
Down In The Depths / Black Orpehus / Moon of Manakoora / Powder Keg / All Or Nothing At All / Callaway Went That-A-Way / Peaches And Cream // Dead End / Wayning Moments / Mack The Knife / Black Diamond / Seeds of Sin / Scourin. Compilation released on 2LP in 1973 in the US (Crescendo, GNPS2-2075) with gatefold cover.
SECOND GENESIS (1974)
Ruby And The Pearl / Pay As You Go / Second Genesis / Mr. Chairman / Tenderfoot / The Albatross / Getting To Know You / I Didn’t Know What Time It Was. Originally recorded on October 11, 1960 and released on elpee in 1974 in the US (Vee-Jay, VJS 3057). Reissued on CD in 1993 in the UK (Le Jazz, LE JAZZ CD9), in 1997 in Spain (Vee Jay, VJ-016), on May 21, 2002 in the US (Collectables, COL-CD-7174) and in 2002 in France (Giants of Jazz, CD 53376). Re-released on CD with five bonus tracks on July 29, 2002 in Japan (JVC Victor).
MOTO GROSSO FEIO (1974)
Moto Grosso Feio / Montezuma // Antiqua / Vera Cruz / Iska. Originally recorded in April 1970 and released on elpee in 1974 in the US (Blue Note, BN-LA014-G). Reissued on CD in 1993 in the US (One Way, S21-17373) and on May 14, 2013 in Japan (Blue Note/Toshiba, TOCJ-50501).
NATIVE DANCER (1975)
Ponta De Areia / Beauty And The Beast / Tarde / Miracle of The Fishers // Diana / From The Lonely Afternoons / Ana Maria / Lilia / Joanna’s Theme. Originally recorded in September 1974 and released on elpee in May 1975* in the US (Columbia, PC 33418), the UK (CBS, S 80721), Brazil (EMI, EMC-8028) and Japan (CBS/Sony, 20AP-1460); reached #183 on the US charts and #16 on the US Jazz charts. (*First appeared in 05/03/75 issue of Billboard.) Reissued on CD and cassette on May 22, 1990 in the US (Columbia, CK/CT-46159). Reissued on CD on November 21, 1996 in Japan (Sony, SRCS-9156), on January 5, 2001 in Japan (Sony, SRCS-9638), in 2007 in Japan (Sony, SICP-1258, DSD remaster) and on March 1, 2008 in the US (SBME Special Markets, 24365).
THE COLLECTOR (1979)
The Collector / Penelope / Etcetera // Barracudas / Indian Song. Originally recorded in June 1965 and released on elpee in 1979 in Japan (Blue Note/King, GXF-3059) and in 1980 in the US (Blue Note/King, GXK-8153).
THE SOOTHSAYER (1979)
Lost / Angola / Big Push // The Soothsayer / Lady Day / Valse Triste. Originally recorded on March 4, 1965 and released on elpee in 1979 in the US (Blue Note, LT-988) and Japan (Blue Note/King, GXF-3054). Re-released on expanded CD with one bonus track (alternate take of “Angola”) on April 4, 1990 in the US (Blue Note, 84443) and as part of the RVG Edition series in 2008 in the US (Blue Note, 14373).
Etcetera / Penelope / Toy Tune // Barracudas (General Assembly) / Indian Song. Originally recorded on June 14, 1965 and released on elpee in 1980 in the US (Blue Note, LT-1056). Reissued on CD on October 24, 1995 in the US (Blue Note, 33581).
Endangered Species / The Three Marias / The Last Silk Hat / When You Dream / What Goes There! / Atlantis / Shere Khan, the Tiger / Criancas / On the Eve of Departure. Released on elpee in 1985 in the US (Columbia, FC-40055) and on CBS in Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands and UK.
PHANTOM NAVIGATOR (1987)
Condition Red / Mahogany Bird / Remote Control / Yamanja / Forbidden, Plan-iT! / Flagships. Originally released on Columbia (40373) and reached #6 on US jazz charts.
JOY RYDER (1988)
Joy Ryder / Cathay / Over Shadow Hill Way / Anthem / Causeways / Daredevil / Someplace Called “Where”. Originally released on Columbia (FC 44110) and CBS in the UK, and reached #24 in the US contemporary jazz charts.
THE BEST OF WAYNE SHORTER (1988)
Speak No Evil / Infant Eyes / Tom Thumb / Lost / Adam’s Apple / Footprints / Virgo / Juju / Water Babies. A compilation originally released on November 1, 1988 on Blue Note (91141).
HIGH LIFE (1995)
Children of the Night / At the Fair / Maya / On the Milky Way Express / Pandora Awakened / Virgo Rising / High Life / Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair / Black Swan. Originally released on October 15, 1995 on Verve (529 224) and charted #15 on US contemporary jazz albums.
THIS IS JAZZ, VOLUME 19 (1996)
Endangered Species / Lusitanos / Ponte de Areia / Port of Entry / The Three Marias / Eurydice / When It Was Now / Beauty and the Beast / Mahogany Bird / Diana. Compilation originally released on September 24, 1996 on Columbia Legacy (64973).
1 + 1 (1997)
Meridianne – A Wood Sylph / Aung San Suu Kyi / Sonrisa / Memory of Enchantment / Visitor from Nowhere / Joanna’s Theme / Diana / Visitor from Somewhere / Manhattan Lorelei / Hale-Bopp, Hip-Hop. Originally released on July 1, 1997 on Verve (537 564). Re-released with one bonus track.
JAZZ PROFILE, NO. 20 (1997)
Black Nile / Mahjong / Witch Hunt / Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum / Chaos / Chief Crazy Horse / Schizophrenia / Super Nova / Calm. Compilation released on September 23, 1997 on Blue Note.
THE BEST OF WAYNE SHORTER (1999)
Yes or No / Adam’s Apple / Night Dreamer / Witch Hunt / Kryptonite / Speak No Evil / All Seeing Eye / Angola / Etcetera / Super Nova. Compilation released in Japan on May 26, 1999 on EMI/Blue Note.
BLUE NOTE YEARS (1999)
Compilation released in Japan on October 14, 1999 on EMI/Blue Note (TOCJ-66049).
FOOTPRINTS LIVE! (2002)
Sanctuary / Masquelero / Valse Triste / Go / Aung San Suu Kyi / Footprints / Atlantis / Juju. Live album released on May 21, 2002 on Verve (589 679) and reached #3 on US jazz charts. Japanese version released on May 9, 2002 with bonus track: Chief Crazy Horse. Received Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
THE CLASSIC BLUE NOTE RECORDINGS (2002)
Black Nile / Yes or No / Speak No Evil / Infant Eyes / Witch Hunt / Angola / Etcetera / Adam’s Apple / Footprints / Tom Thumb / Super Nova / Calm // The Chess Players / Lester Left Town / Ping Pong / United / Marie Antoinette / Children of the Night / Contemplation / Rio / Limbo / Nefertiti. Two-disc compilation released on October 22, 2002 on Blue Note (40856).
Sacajawea / Serenata / Vendiendo Alegria / Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 / Angola / Interlude / She Moves Through the Fair / Orbits / 12th Century Carol / Capricorn II. Originally released on March 25, 2003 on Verve (543 558), reached #6 on US jazz charts.
BEYOND THE SOUND BARRIER (2005)
Smilin’ Through / As Far As the Eye Can See / On Wings of Song / Tinker Bell / Joy Ryder / Over Shadow Hill Way / Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean / Beyond the Sound Barrier. Originally released on June 14, 2005 on Verve, reached #10 on US jazz charts.