Matthew Shipp on Wayne Shorter

Where do I begin? Wayne Shorter’s influence is so immense in the modern jazz landscape. If you got different people from different aspects of the jazz world together in one room—say fusion musicians, modern new music musicians, mainstream musicians—he’s one of the few people living that they all have in common. People that would usually be at each other’s throats definitely all owe a lot to Wayne. From the compositions that he contributed to the Miles Davis group in the ’60s to his own albums on Blue Note and to his contributions to Weather Report and to his cutting edge band that he has right now (which, actually I’m the pianist in a band called the David S. Ware Quartet and I think Wayne’s stolen a few ideas from us!) But anyway, I think it’s just really amazing that one person has bridged so many different stylistic elements in jazz and has influenced so many different types of players. Like I said, in the politically charged atmosphere of jazz, we’re all trying to get the one bone that’s left and people that are at each other’s throats all share Wayne in common as an influence.