Footprints: The Life and Music of Wayne Shorter

Footprints: The Life and Music of Wayne Shorter


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The first biography about the man The New York Times recently called "jazz's all-around genius, matchless in his field as a composer, utterly original as an improviser."

Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter is one of the great architects of jazz, and a man whose influence will be felt by musicians and music fans for generations to come. In this first biography of Shorter, Michelle Mercer traces the amazing trajectory of his fifty-year career. As fellow jazz great Herbie Hancock puts it: "Wayne Shorter has evolved as a human being to a point where he can synthesize all the history of jazz into a very special, very alive musical expression. Nobody else can do that now."

In many ways, Wayne Shorter's story is the story of modern American music. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1933, he learned bebop as an adolescent in cutting contests with Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins. In the 1950s, he graduated to some "hard-drinking, hard bop years" with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The saxophonist was the catalyst in the famous 1960s quintet of Miles Davis, then followed the trumpeter on his avant-garde electric excursions. In the 1970s, he and Joe Zawinul pioneered fusion in Weather Report. Into the 1980s and 1990s Wayne's solos graced pop recordings like Steely Dan's "Aja" and Joni Mitchell's "Hejira." And today, at age seventy, he is leading the Wayne Shorter Quartet, a group that critics have compared to Coltrane's classic quartet and to Davis's own groundbreaking quintet.

A rich portrait of a great American artist, Footprints. makes a vital contribution to the literature of jazz.

Author Biography: Michelle Mercer is a music writer and a regular music commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and Jazziz.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585423538
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/29/2004
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

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Footprints: The Life and Music of Wayne Shorter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A comprehensive and first-class biography that explores jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader Wayne Shorter¿s life, music, and spirituality. Michelle Mercer weaves interviews ¿ with Shorter, family, band members, and others ¿ with musical analysis, reviews and other sources to create a tight story from his birth in Newark in 1933 to 2004, when the book was completed.