Wayne Shorter, the storied saxophonist considered one of America's greatest jazz composers and among the genre's leading risk-takers, died on Thursday. He was 89.

Shorter's publicist Alisse Kingsley confirmed his death to AFP, without specifying the cause.

The enigmatic jazz elder performed with fellow legend Miles Davis and went on to become a leading bandleader on both soprano and tenor sax, including with his group Weather Report.

He was one of the last living jazz greats to have cut his teeth in the genre's 1950s heyday when it was both the soundtrack at dance halls and gained ground in intellectual circles

Born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, Shorter expressed early interest in music and took up clarinet as a teenager

He picked up the saxophone -- which became his instrument of choice -- shortly thereafter.

Shorter and his brother would play bebop, calling themselves "Mr Weird" and "Doc Strange" for their antics like wearing dark sunglasses in a dimly lit club

And we had wrinkled clothes, because we thought you played bebop better with wrinkled clothes," Shorter told The Atlantic in 2004