Wayne Shorter—saxophonist, composer, innovator, Buddhist—was a giant in music and an inspiring influence on the generations that have come up behind him. This remarkable film record of his life and work brings all of his gifts into focus. This is the first jazz documentary that rises to the complexity of its subject and has the scale to match the story.
A precocious notoriety quickly caught the attention of jazz legends Horace Silver, then Art Blakey, and finally Miles Davis, and Shorter supercharged whatever group he joined. He and his collaborators saw jazz as a consciously progressive force in an era of deep challenges and conflicts. He cofounded the seminal band Weather Report, with Joe Zawinul, and he always kept exploring and expanding, working with Joni Mitchell, Milton Nascimento, and Steely Dan, among others, and then going on to write and perform orchestral works and original works for opera.
Featuring intimate conversations with Shorter and informative contributions from Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, the surprising and ebullient Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sonny Rollins, Carlos Santana, Marcus Miller, Don Was, Ron Carter, Dave Holland and others, the film uses animation, reenactments, and lots and lots of great music given pride of place to cover the story. It’s all skillfully crafted through impressive editing, visualizations, and sound design.
Director: Dorsay Alavi (USA 2023) 137 min.
Program Duration: 3 hours with a short intermission