Wayne Shorter is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Jazz critic Ben Ratliff of the New York Times has described Shorter as "probably jazz's greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser." Many of Shorter's compositions have become jazz standards. His output has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise and various commendations, including 10 Grammy Awards. He has also received acclaim for his mastery of the soprano saxophone (after switching his focus from the tenor in the late 1960s), beginning an extended reign in 1970 as Down Beat's annual poll-winner on that instrument, winning the critics' poll for 10 consecutive years and the readers' for 18
Shorter first came to wide prominence in the late 1950s as a member of, and eventually primary composer for, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In the 1960s, he went on to join Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, and from there he co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report. He has recorded over 20 albums as a bandleader.When John Coltrane left Miles Davis' band in 1960 to pursue his own group, Coltrane proposed Shorter as a replacement.