Terence Blanchard pays tribute to Wayne Shorter with new album Absence

Terence Blanchard’s new album Absence honours legendary composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

On the new album, the acclaimed trumpeter performs with The E-Collective, featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist David Ginyard and drummer Oscar Seaton; and the Turtle Island Quartet with violinist and artistic director David Balakirshnan, violinist Gabe Terracciano, violist Benjamin von Gutzeit and cellist Malcom Parson.

Absence includes pieces written by Shorter as well as original compositions by Blanchard and members of his band.

The title track, composed by Ginyard, is available now.

“I’m proud to have a chance to visit some of the music that has shaped my musical identity,” Blanchard says. “Pairing Wayne Shorter’s music with original works from the E-Collective along with the sonic colours of the Turtle Island Quartet has been an amazing experience. Wayne has said before, ‘Jazz means, I dare you,’ so why not dare to be creative and pay homage at the same time?”

This is a particularly prolific time for Blanchard, already a highly decorated musician who has won five Grammy Awards, earned two Oscar nominations for his collaborations with Spike Lee, and served for 11 years as artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (now the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz), among numerous other achievements.

Blanchard’s opera Fire Shut Up In My Bones will open the 2021-22 season of the Metropolitan Opera in New York on Sept. 27, making it the first opera by a Black composer in the 136-year history of the Met. Blanchard has also just finished scoring Lee’s upcoming HBO documentary NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½, premiering this fall. He’ll soon begin writing for the second season of the HBO series Perry Mason.

As if he’s not busy enough, Blanchard will be touring this fall in support of Absence.

Here’s the album’s track listing:

  1. Absence (David Ginyard)
  2. The Elders (Wayne Shorter)
  3. Fall (Shorter)
  4. I Dare You (Intro) (Terence Blanchard)
  5. I Dare You (Blanchard)
  6. Envisioned Reflections (Intro) (Ginyard)
  7. Envisioned Reflections (Ginyard)
  8. The Second Wave (David Balakrishnan)
  9. When It Was Now (Shorter)
  10. Dark Horse (Charles Altura)
  11. Diana (Shorter)
  12. More Elders (Shorter)

Absence arrives Aug. 27 via Blue Note.

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