“As the golden age of postwar jazz recedes, the surviving giants of that era loom ever larger. Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter is one of them. At the age of 83, he’s become a jazz monument, somewhat to his own bewilderment. He received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2014, and earlier this year became the only jazz musician ever to win a Guggenheim fellowship in composition. He’s busier than ever, with an opera and a concerto in progress, and next month plays the Barbican in the London Jazz Festival.
In fact, Shorter has been a major figure for more than 50 years. By the time he turned 30, in 1963, he’d played with pianist Horace Silver and multi-instrumentalist Maynard Ferguson, and become the mainstay of one of the great groups in the history of jazz, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. His compositions of the Sixties were just as admired as his playing, and many of them soon became standards.“