Wayne Shorter, the great saxophonist and composer who will turn 80 next August, has announced a forthcoming tour that he’ll undertake with his longstanding quartet. Backed by pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, the tour will commence with a high-profile gig at Carnegie Hall in New York City on February 1, 2013. From there, the group will play six additional shows over the following months. (See below for the full list of confirmed dates.)
At Carnegie Hall, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Shorter’s quartet will perform four compositions by Shorter alongside works by Beethoven and Ives. On February 9, the Quartet will appear at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles for the world premiere of Gaia, a newly commissioned work that Shorter composed for Esperanza Spalding and the LA Philharmonic.
Shorter’s new album, Without a Net, is scheduled to drop on February 5. The release marks Shorter’s return to Blue Note Records following a 43-year-old absence from the label. The disc comprises nine tracks, eight of which were recorded during the quartet’s European tour in late 2011 and one of which features the quartet with The Imani Winds, recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The album includes six new Shorter compositions, as well as new versions of his tunes “Orbits” (from Miles Davis’ Miles Smiles album) and “Plaza Real” (from the Weather Report album Procession). The quartet also reinvents the title song from the 1933 musical film Flying Down to Rio, which film buffs (such as Shorter) know as the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Shorter first recorded for Blue Note in 1959 as the 26-year-old tenor saxophonist in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, which brought him to the attention of label founder Alfred Lion, who eventually signed him to his own recording deal. Shorter went on to record a number of classic albums for Blue Note between 1964-70 including Night Dreamer, Juju, Speak No Evil, Adam’s Apple, Schizophrenia and Super Nova. During that same period, Shorter also played with Miles Davis, first as a member of the trumpeter’s trailblazing quintet and later as a part of Davis’ early fusion masterpieces.
WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET – 2013 U.S. TOUR DATES
Feb. 1 Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Feb. 9 Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Apr. 12 Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN
May 5 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA
June 7 Symphony Center, Chicago, IL
Sept. 26 Kennedy Center—Eisenhower Theatre, Washington D.C.
Nov. 2 Orchestra Hall, Detroit, MI