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Wayne Shorter Releases “Emanon,” Featuring John Patitucci

Wayne Shorter: EmanonMaster jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter has blended his music with the visual arts on Emanon. The triple album, which is only available in physical releases, is accompanied by an 84-page graphic novel penned by Shorter with Monica Sly and illustrated by Randy DuBurke. Shorter borrowed the title Emanon, which is “no name” spelled backwards.

“When Dizzy Gillespie had a piece of music in the late 40s called ‘Emanon,’ it hit me way back then as a teenager: ‘No name’ means a whole lot. The connection with Emanon and artists and other heroes is the quest to find originality, which is probably the closest thing you can get to creation,” Shorter says. “Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and some comic heroes, they lose their power or identity and become something called human, so that a human being has to do the same thing that Superman and all of them do.”

The music on Emanon is just as adventurous as the graphic novel’s concept. It includes music performed by Shorter’s quartet (filled out by pianist Danilo Perez, drummer Brian Blade, and bassist John Patitucci) as well as the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Shorter’s work with the orchestra stemmed from a conversation with Miles Davis.

“Just before Miles [Davis] passed, 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,’” Shorter explains. “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.”

For an idea of the album, check out this live performance with Patitucci of “The Three Marias” live at the Umbria Jazz Festival:

Emanon is available now in CD and vinyl packages.

Emanon Track List:

Disc 1 – The Wayne Shorter Quartet With Orpheus Chamber Orchestra:

  1. Pegasus
  2. Prometheus Unbound
  3. Lotus
  4. The Three Marias

Disc 2 – The Wayne Shorter Quartet Live In London:

  1. The Three Marias
  2. Lost And Orbits Medley

Disc 3 – The Wayne Shorter Quartet Live In London:

  1. Lotus
  2. She Moves Through The Fair
  3. Adventures Aboard The Golden Mean
  4. Prometheus Unbound