Masqualero

Songfacts®:

  • Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter was a member of Miles Davis' Quintet between 1964-70. He composed several tracks for the legendary band leader including "Prince of Darkness," "Footprints" and "Sanctuary."

    This eerie tune was inspired by the elaborate masks worn by the Mescalero, an Apache tribe of Native Americans in south central New Mexico. Shorter explained in the 2018 documentary Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, "When defending their land they seemed to come out of nowhere and then recede into nowhere, so the bass line was written to create some kind of mystery. It's my way of shining a light on something that really happened in American history."
  • "Masqualero" is the only Sorcerer track known to have appeared in Davis' live performances. It remained in the trumpeter's live rotation for several years after its recording.

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