**THIS IS A VINYL LP**
Release Date: 2022
- Someplace Called “Where”
- Endangered Species
- Encontros e Despedidas
- Drummers Song
- Midnight in Carlotta’s Hair
- The Stuff That Dreams Are Made (A Conversation)
180-gram vinyl double LP
On Sept. 3, 2017, attendees of the Detroit Jazz Festival witnessed a very special, and unique, one-time event. A set by a multi-generational jazz super group. A masterful quartet comprised of Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, esperanza spalding, and Leo Genovese.
At last, on Sept 9, 2022, the rest of us will get to enjoy this magnificent performance.
The musicians had at the most, an outline of how the music that evening might evolve. In a testament to the level of trust and respect between these great artists, they left the rest open for on-the-spot spontaneity. Terri Lyne Carrington remembers, “We rehearsed some themes earlier that day, but the preparation was really from our lives and profound experiences with each other.” In other words, four lifetimes of music made these performances possible. The artificial boundaries between composition and improvisation, ensemble and solos were erased. The quartet operated as its own entity, creating music that not only delighted and intrigued the audience but the musicians themselves.
Whether it is the Shorter/Spalding composition “Endangered Species” (which explores several moods and is filled with free-form explorations), Milton Nascimento’s thoughtful ballad “Encontros e Despedidas,” Geri Allen’s “Drummers Song,” or Shorter’s haunting “Midnight In Carlotta’s Hair,” the quartet’s interpretations are consistently unpredictable and memorable. But one could use those descriptions to sum up the great Wayne Shorter’s entire career.
Shorter has worked with vocalists on occasion throughout the years, most notably Milton Nascimento (on 1974’s Native Dancer), Joni Mitchell and Lionel Loueke. But his interplay with esperanza spalding’s voice here on several of these selections is on a different level altogether. spalding’s passionate long tones, most notably on the saxophonist’s “Someplace Called ‘Where,'” echoes Shorter’s style, and her singing on some of the other pieces gives the group the sound of a two-horn quintet.
Wayne Shorter, who many consider to be jazz’s greatest living composer in addition to being a distinctive and innovative stylist on both tenor and soprano, had three longtime associations that found him making history by contributing inventive solos and innovative compositions to a trio of musical institutions: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1959-63), the Miles Davis Quintet (1964-70), and Weather Report (1971-86), co-founding the latter with Joe Zawinul. Add to that his classic string of recordings for the Blue Note label, and Shorter could have at any time simply rested on his accomplishments and coasted. But that would not have satisfied his explorative spirit.
Terri Lyne Carrington began playing drums when she was 7, performed with pioneering jazz flugel hornist Clark Terry at 10, and was awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College Of Music at age 11. Her early list of credits beginning in the 1980s point out not only her productivity but her versatility, and include associations with the likes of Lester Bowie, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, David Sanborn, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, and Herbie Hancock in addition to being the house drummer for The Arsenio Hall Show. Carrington has led a wide assortment of projects during the past 30 years including the Grammy award-winning album The Mosaic Project, Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue, and her 2019 set with Social Science titled Waiting Game. She first recorded with Wayne Shorter on 1987’s Joy Ryder, and is on the esperanza spalding albums Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, along with Leo Genovese on piano. Carrington currently serves as Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.
“I’ve played with Wayne Shorter since I was 21 years old and he is my musical and spiritual mentor. I’ve also played much over the last decade with my sister, esperanza spalding, as well as Leo Genovese, both incredibly talented musicians. I am beyond thrilled that this special concert at the Detroit Jazz Festival in 2017 was captured and is now being shared with listeners around the world,” Carrington says.
esperanza spalding began playing the violin as a child and by age 5 was performing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. After switching to bass, she sang in a local rock group, studied at Portland State University and the Berklee College Of Music, and released her first album Junjo, in 2006. Her breakthrough came with her sensational second album, 2008’s Esperanza, and in 2011, she won the coveted Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Since then, she has played with Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, Fred Hersch, ACS (a collaboration with Terri Lyne Carrington and Geri Allen), and has since led such albums as Chamber Music Society, Radio Music Society, Emily’s D+Evolution, Exposure, 12 Little Spells (Grammy win for Best Jazz Vocal album), and Songwrights Apothecary Lab (Grammy win for Best Jazz Vocal Album).
spalding’s music, like that of Carrington and Shorter, has never fit into a simple category. Of her night playing with Shorter, Carrington and Genovese, spalding says “that night in Detroit, when we felt ourselves lift off musically, I learned a different definition of flying, of building while flying, and of ‘we.'”
Leo Genovese was born in Argentina, first played piano when he was five, and studied at the University of Rosario and the Berklee College Of Music. He made his recording debut in 2003 and has led such albums as Haiku II, Unlocked, Seeds, Rituals and Sin Tiempo. Genovese has also recorded with a large assortment of artists including Jason Palmer, Andre Matos, Francisco Mela, Michael Feinberg, Sara Serpa, Dave Zinno, Dan Blake and Leni Stern. He began touring and recording with esperanza spalding in 2005, an association that continues up to the present time. “Wayne, Terri Lyne and esperanza are musical superheroes in all places and in all times. To be able to share sound, to learn from them and to feel them as friends is a blessing.”
In recent years, Shorter has “retired” from performing, but he is far from inactive. He worked with spalding (who wrote the libretto) on his opera Iphigenia, which received impressive reviews after performances on both the East and West Coasts during 2021-22. He sums up the Detroit concert in his own special way: “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.”
This performance is dedicated to the memory of pianist and composer Geri Allen, who was originally to be a part of the group, but passed away the previous June.