Jazz Friday – Wayne Shorter’s Witch Hunt

Wayne Shorter is one of the few bridges that exist between the 50’s and 60’s bebop movement and the present. Wayne is currently 81 years old and still releasing excellent albums. Wayne is a saxophonist that got his big breaks in the Art Blakey and Miles Davis bands in the 50s and 60s.

In addition to some remarkable sax chops, Wayne Shorter is also a distinguished composer, writing many of the tunes Miles Davis recorded.

Wayne’s playing has evolved over the years and I had a hard time picking a single song to feature but in the end, I picked Witch Hunt from the 1966 album, Speak No Evil. The album featured Herbie Hancock on Piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. All of these gents have had solo careers of their own.

After spending some time recording modal jazz albums, Witch Hunt was Wayne’s return to more traditional chord-change based jazz. Witch Hunt in particular pushes my music nerd buttons because the song is built nearly entirely around perfect fourths. I also dig the smart intro.

It is worth noting that Wayne Shor

ter also later played the saxaphone for one of the pioneering fusion jazz bands, Weather Report.

If you’d like to hear some more from Wayne Shorter I’d recommend JuJu for some of his more modal jazz and Without a Net for some of his more recent stuff.

For Apple Music subscribers, here’s my own Wayne Shorter Playlist. Enjoy.