This is a welcome digital version of saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter’s Grammy-winning 2018 Emanon project, initially released as a triple-length set with accompanying graphic novel. The first album features the 85-year-old jazz legend’s long-running quartet in the studio with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, whose conductorless fluidity suits the quartet’s agile improvisation. Shorter is widely considered jazz’s best living composer, but here fans have the chance to hear his sprawling classical writing. While Shorter’s compositional influences for these orchestral tracks range from John Williams to Aaron Copland, they also bear witness to Shorter’s own storied career: On “Pegasus,” we get a fanfare from his 1966 classic Speak No Evil; we hear painterly woodwind voicings on “The Three Marias,” first recorded in an electric fusion version on 1985’s Atlantis. Recent live recordings of the quartet in London make up the other two albums. This highly influential group (Shorter, pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade) revisits the aforementioned orchestral material fast and tight, as if in a sports car, also covering Shorter tunes like “She Moves Through the Fair” and “Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean.” It’s not hard to hear the style and spirit of Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Weather Report, and other brilliant associations of Shorter’s career in this quartet’s passionate rapport. Emanon is nothing less than the fulfillment of a lifetime vision for Shorter.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

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