PREVIEW: Wayne Shorter with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Barbican Feb 18th)

Wayne Shorter in 2006. Photo Credit:Tom Beetz/Creative Commons

Wayne Shorter will be at the Barbican on 18th February with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as part of their fourth Barbican International Associate Residency. Jim Burlong previews the concert:

 “Wayne brings us [the Wayne Shorter Quartet] things that are highly composed and orchestrated. We play them. Invariably he says, ‘Okay, that’s what it is—now I want to delve into it and break it apart and reconstruct it in many different ways.’ He wants it new every time. The form of the piece is cemented in everybody’s mind, but then the one rule, you could say, is that there are no rules.”
John Patitucci (Quoted in a programme note by Ted Panken for Jazz at Lincoln Center.)

London audiences will have the opportunity to witness that laconic, ever-probing spirit at first hand, when the saxophonist and composer joins the orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center with leader Wynton Marsalis for one performance only, on the first night of their two-yearly London Residency. The programme was performed in New York last May and Ben Ratliff of the New York Times came away completely enthralled. Here’s Ratliff’s final paragraph:

“The really breathtaking moments often weren’t in emotional surges — one of Mr. Shorter’s specialties — but in denouements. Like any musician, he’s got a few of his own clichés, but they weren’t much in evidence on Thursday. Mr. Shorter was taking ideas for a ride, working episodically with no fixed outcome, making quick and impulsive turns: discovering, basically.” 

 Shorter’s career has embraced the early ground breaking years of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers through Miles Davis second great quintet and fusion giants Weather Report to his recordings with his own groups on the Blue Note and Verve labels.Throughout six decades he has been at the forefront of creativity both on tenor and soprano saxophones, as well as being one of the most compelling composers in jazz.

The set lists for the concert will consist of a total of ten Wayne Shorter compositions, re-arranged for the big band setting by members orchestra, to include Mama G recorded with The Messengers in 1960, Armageddon made with McCoy Tyner in ’64 and from later years The Three Marias and Diana first released with VSOP. The highlight may well be the title track from the the Miles Davis album E.S.P. written when Shorter was emerging as one of the leading composers of his generation.

 LINK: Details of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s fourth,three-day Barbican International Associate Residency 

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