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Wayning Moments was Wayne Shorter’s third album as a leader (following Introducing Wayne Shorter and Second Genesis). However, since his recording debut in 1959 he never stopped working with different musicians and appeared as a sideman on many albums. Although his music would become much more experimental when he joined Miles Davis’ quintet a few years later, Shorter can still be heard here in more of a post-bop vein – more akin to the kind of work he made during that same period with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (whose bass player is also featured here). As the original liner notes clearly state: “this is not experimental jazz”.
Chicago, November 2, 1961.
One of the most renowned jazz photographers of all time, Francis Wolff (1907-1971) was also a record company executive and producer, whose skills were essential to the success of the Blue Note record label. Born Jakob Franz Wolff in Berlin, Germany, he soon became a jazz enthusiast, despite the government ban placed on this type of music after 1933. A Jew, in 1939 he left Berlin, where he had worked as a commercial photographer, and established himself in New York. He began working there with his childhood friend Alfred Lion, who had co-founded Blue Note Records with Max Margulis. The latter soon dropped out of any involvement in the company, and Wolff joined Lion in running it. Wolff took thousands of photographs during the label’s recording sessions and rehearsals. His highly personal visual concept would be forever associated with both Blue Note and jazz as a whole.