A Legend, Still Growing

A Weather Report veteran at his gimmick-free best.

An alumnus of the ’70s fusion band Weather Report, Wayne Shorter is at his best when he unplugs and resists electric gimmickry. Alegría (“joy” in Spanish) places the sax man in evocative acoustic settings over which he crafts concise solos that swing in unexpected directions. Reminiscent of a film noir score, “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” features haunting cello; a new version of his own “Orbits” roughs up the stately arrangement with raspy chords. On “Sacajawea,” Shorter unfurls swirling sheets of overdubbed notes. How refreshing to find a legend worthy of the name not just persisting, but continuing to grow after more than four decades.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.