25 August 1933, Newark, New Jersey, USA. Shorter first played clarinet, taking up the tenor saxophone during his late teens. He studied music at New York University during the mid-50s before serving in the US army for two years. During his student days he had played with various bands, including that led by Horace Silver, and on his discharge encountered John Coltrane, with whom he developed many theoretical views on music. He was also briefly with Maynard Ferguson. In 1959 Shorter became a member of Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers, remaining with the band until 1963. The following year he joined Miles Davis, staying until 1970. Later that year he teamed up with Joe Zawinul, whom he had first met in the Ferguson band, to form Weather Report. During his stints with Blakey and Davis Shorter had written extensively and his compositions had also formed the basis of several increasingly experimental record sessions under his own name for Blue Note Records. He...
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