Jazz musician Wayne Shorter is dead. Shorter died in a hospital in Los Angeles on Thursday at the age of 89, his spokeswoman for the German Press Agency said. Shorter was considered one of the most important and influential jazz composers and saxophonists and had received numerous awards – including around a dozen Grammys. Many of his companions were deeply moved.

“Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and an aspiring spirit for the eternal future. He was ready for his rebirth,” wrote jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. Shorter has reached the “peak of his excellence” as a saxophonist, composer and orchestrator. Drummer Jack DeJohnette wrote that the deceased gave the world a “treasure trove of recordings of his compositions and improvisations”. Singer Jon Batiste described the musician as incomparable.

Shorter “shaped the color and contours of modern jazz as one of its most admired composers,” wrote the New York Times. Born in 1933 in the US state of New Jersey, he was already considered a “boy wonder of jazz” in his high school band as a teenager. Many of his friends called him “Wayne the Brain” because he seemed to take ideas from everything and everyone and combine them with his thoughts into imaginative interpretations.

stations of life

Shorter studied music in New York and was soon playing with jazz greats like Miles Davis. Career highlights included a series of duets with Herbie Hancock, captured on the 1995 album High Life. In addition, Shorter composed jazz classics such as “Lester Left Town”, “Nefertiti”, “E.S.P.” and “footprints”.

Shorter’s compositions, with their penchant for certain chords, offered soloists ample room for improvisation without compromising form and structure, US radio station NPR once judged. Shorter’s saxophone solos, on the other hand, fascinated with their abundance of ideas and their ability to effortlessly return to the main melody after imaginative detours.

Shorter released dozens of albums into old age. The musician has been married several times and is a practicing Buddhist – which is also what his music is based on, as he once said in an interview: “I want my music to make the listener remember that they are immortal.”