High Life (Wayne Shorter album)

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High Life
Wayne Shorter - High Life.jpg
Studio album by Wayne Shorter
Released October 17, 1995
Genre Modal jazz
Label Verve
Producer Marcus Miller
Wayne Shorter chronology
Joy Ryder
High Life
1 + 1
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

High Life is an album by jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter that was released on Verve Records in 1995.


The album was the first album Wayne Shorter had recorded as a leader for seven years. It was also his recording debut for Verve Records. High Life was something of a departure from the jazz-fusion albums that Shorter had recorded in the late 1980s after leaving Weather Report. The compositions were generally seen to be more complex than his previous efforts and the use of synthesized instruments was seen to be more subtle.

Shorter wrote, composed, and arranged all of the compositions featured on it. A thirty-piece orchestral ensemble was used in addition to the electronic instruments. The album was produced by Marcus Miller, who also played electric bass and conducted the orchestra. Keyboardist Rachel Z contributed to the orchestration and the sound design of the album. Besides soprano and tenor saxophone it is the first and only (recorded) occasion Shorter played alto and baritone saxophones.

The album was (mainly) recorded and mixed in Bill Schnee's studio in North Hollywood, and finally released on October 17, 1995. High Life won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1997.

Track listing

  1. "Children of the Night" – 7:23
  2. "At the Fair" – 7:29
  3. "Maya" – 5:12
  4. "On the Milky Way Express" – 5:35
  5. "Pandora Awakened" – 6:20
  6. "Virgo Rising" – 6:46
  7. "High Life" – 6:28
  8. "Midnight in Carlotta's Hair" – 5:54
  9. "Black Swan (In Memory of Susan Portlynn Romeo)" – 2:04

All compositions by Wayne Shorter


  • Wayne Shorter – Tenor, soprano, alto and baritone saxophones
  • Rachel Z – Piano, synthesizers, sound design, sequencing
  • David Gilmore – Electric guitar
  • Marcus Miller – Bass guitar, bass clarinet, rhythm programming
  • Will Calhoun – Drums
  • Lenny Castro – Percussion
  • Airto Moreira – Percussion
  • Terri Lyne Carrington – Drums on "Midnight in Carlotta's Hair"
  • Munyungo Jackson – Percussion on "Midnight in Carlotta's Hair"
  • Kevin Ricard – Percussion on "Midnight in Carlotta's Hair"
  • David Ward – Additional sound design


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2011). "High Life – Wayne Shorter | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.

External links

  • Official Site from Verve Records.
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