Jazz legend Wayne Shorter will release Emanon, a new three-CD collection of live and studio-recorded music, on August 24 via Blue Note Records. This will be the saxophonist-composer's first new release since 2013's Without a Net, which marked his return to Blue Note, the label where he started his recording career in 1964. Watch a preview video for Emanon via the player below:
The music on Emanon is composed by Shorter and performed by his quartet — with Shorter on tenor and soprano alongside pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade — with and without the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. It includes a four composition orchestral suite first performed by the quartet and the orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York City, in February 2013. "Just before Miles [Davis] passed," recalls Shorter via a press release, "he said, 'Wayne, I want you to write something for me with strings and an orchestra, but make sure you put a window in so I can get out of there.' He definitely did not say, 'Make the strings swing.' Working with an orchestra is like crossing the street and talking to a neighbor you haven't talked to for 10 years. It's the thing the world needs now: joining forces."
The music is accompanied by an 84-page science fiction graphic novel written by Shorter and Monica Sly, with illustrations by comics artist Randy DuBurke. Shorter met DuBurke via Blue Note label head Don Was, and the saxophonist loved his illustrations in graphic novels on Malcolm X and Deadwood Dick. "I could sort of project myself into Randy's general state of mind from childhood. I could see it in his drawings. He has those 'I Wish' lines in his work; he's aiming for how he wants the world to be."
Emanon is a physical-only release that will be available in two versions, a Standard Edition that packages three CDs with the graphic novel, and a Deluxe Edition that packages three 180g vinyl LPs and three CDs with the graphic novel enclosed in a beautiful hardcover slipcase. In her introduction to the novel, bassist Esperanza Spalding writes: "After reading and listening to Emanon, you might begin to notice alternative realities glimmering beneath the everyday world around you."
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