Wayne Shorter’s evolution as an artist is vast & unending. Performing with and composing for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis Second Great Quintet naturally led to the formation of his own legendary groups—first Weather Report, then his musically unparalleled quartet. With Shorter’s career now focused solely on composing, his musical greatness has set the table for his protégé to carry his music forward to the next generation. In this new recording project, Absence, 2018 USA Fellow, two-time Oscar® nominee, and five-time GRAMMY®-winning trumpeter & composer Terence Blanchard celebrates both the brilliance of Shorter’s legacy and the inspiration he has given Blanchard, influencing his ever-expanding amalgam of music and storytelling.
For this monumental task, Blanchard unites his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective, featuring young musical pioneers Charles Altura on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, Oscar Seaton on drums, and David “DJ” Ginyard on bass, with the double-GRAMMY®-winning Turtle Island Quartet.
The repertoire includes arrangements of Shorter’s original work, including “Diana” from Native Dancer and “When It Was Now” from Weather Report’s 1982 self-titled release. Blanchard’s compositions continue to expand on the reservoir of E-Collective tunes, utilizing a string quartet that is uniquely equipped for the full range of color and expression of the Blanchard sonic & stylistic sphere. Original compositions from the band include new contributions from Almazan, and for the first time on a recording, Ginyard. A heart-stopping string quartet work titled “Second Wave,” written by Turtle Island’s own David Balakrishnan, perfectly rounds out the recording.
Absence is a Blue Note® release, co-produced by manager and SONY alumna Robin Burgess in Fall of 2021, coinciding with Blanchard’s second opera, Fire Shut Up In My Bones opening the Metropolitan Opera’s season. This new album honors the past, present and future of Wayne Shorter.