"Footprints" | Stories of Standards

Nov 30, 2016


Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis - weekdays from 6-9 am MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!


“Footprints” (1966) by Wayne Shorter, first appeared on his 1966 album “Adam’s Apple”. As a 15-year-old Wayne Shorter experienced a life-changing epiphany when he saw Lester Young at a Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic show in Newark along with Stan Kenton and Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and Russell Jacquet (“Illinois” Jacquet); by the following year he had a clarinet and was studying music. He soon switched to tenor saxophone and formed the band “The Jazz Informers”. Shorter worked his way through New York University by playing with the Nat Phipps Orchestra and shortly afterwards was given the nickname “The Newark Flash” for his speed and facility on the tenor saxophone.

In 1957, just as he was becoming well known, Shorter was drafted into the Army. When he returned in 1959 he started jamming with John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. In August of that year he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he became musical director and contributed several original compositions. In 1964 Miles Davis invited Shorter on a road tour that included Davis, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. This lasted for six years. During his time with Miles Davis he also recorded several albums for Blue Note Records. In 1970 he formed the Weather Report group with fellow Davis alumnus Joe Zawinul; they released 16 albums in 15 years. After leaving the Weather Report Shorter continued recording and leading groups in jazz fusion, including a 1988 tour with Carlos Santana. In 1989 Shorter’s sax solo on Don Henley’s song “The End of the Innocence” was a hit. In 1997 he worked with Herbie Hancock and their recording of “Aung San Suu Kyi” won Grammy Awards for each of them. He has won nine Grammys, the Miles Davis Award, a NEA Jazz Masters Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Music and the Jazz Journalists Jazz Award. Wayne Shorter is a Nichiren Buddhist and a member of Sōka Gakkai.

Wayne Shorter