Odyssey of Iska was the outcome of the second recording session with Shorter that was produced by Duke Pearson (Nevertheless Moto Grosso Feio was not issued until 1974.) With the exception of Ron Carter there was a completely different line-up, although with a similar instrumentation: beside Shorter on saxophones there was no further reed or horn, also no keyboards, but a guitarist, two double bass players (Carter plays also cello on the prior session) and two, respectively four musicians on various percussion instruments including marimba and vibraphone. The same emphasis on percussion is also found on a recording date led by Joe Zawinul only some two weeks before, on August 10, where Wayne Shorter had a guest appearance on "Double Image" (released on Zawinul).
Wayne Shorter had just married Ana Maria Patricio, whom he had met four year earlier. The name "Iska" in the album title refers to their daughter. She was born around the time the record was made.
The percussionist/drummer on this album, Frank Cuomo, is the father of rock group Weezer's frontman, Rivers Cuomo.
The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow states "On the verge of joining Weather Report (referred to in the liner notes as "Weather Forecast"), it is not surprising that Shorter's originals include titles such as "Wind", "Storm", and "Calm". These moody works were never covered by other jazz players but they work quite well in this context, launching melancholy flights by Shorter."