Wayne Shorter forms a multi-generational supergroup on new live album

Fans will soon get the chance to listen to a live recording by a multi-generational supergroup featuring NEA Jazz Masters Wayne Shorter and Terri Lyne Carrington along with Leo Genovese and Esperanza Spalding.

Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival captures the group’s historic one-time performance five years ago on Sept. 3, 2017. It was one of Shorter’s last performances before his retirement.

Shorter took the stage with a stacked quartet composed of former protegés and collaborators who are now established as notable figures in their own right. With the musicians having been given only a sparse outline of the music before the performance, listeners will hear this stellar quartet’s high level of spontaneous interplay on full display.

“We rehearsed some themes earlier that day, but the preparation was really from our lives and profound experiences with each other,” Carrington recalls.

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The recording features compositions such as Shorter’s soul-stirring Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair, Milton Nascimento’s ballad Encontros e Despedidas, and Spalding and Shorter’s joint composition Endangered Species, which also features vocals from Spalding.

The performance was dedicated to the memory of the late pianist and composer Geri Allen, who was originally slated to perform with the group but died of cancer a month earlier.

Listen to the group’s take on Allen’s composition Drummer’s Song:

“Wayne, Terri Lyne and Esperanza are musical superheroes in all places and in all times,” Genovese says. “To be able to share sound, to learn from them and to feel them as friends is a blessing.”

Shorter reflects on his experiences at the Detroit concert: “With the mixture of people — male and female, varying ethnicities and backgrounds — sometimes we did things that sound larger than the four of us, with more of an orchestral approach. If there are things going on in the recording that can be heard by people to the extent that it can turn some thoughts around about life and culture… people who hear it may recognize that we are all different — and the same.”

Here’s the track listing:

  1. Someplace Called “Where”
  2. Endangered Species
  3. Encontros e Despedidas
  4. Drummers Song
  5. Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair
  6. The Stuff That Dreams are Made (A Conversation) [Vinyl Exclusive]

Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival will be released Sept. 9, 2022, via Candid Records.