Emanon (Wayne Shorter album)

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Emanon (Wayne Shorter album cover).png
Recording by
ReleasedSeptember 14, 2018
VenueThe Barbican, London
StudioAvatar Studios, NYC
Danilo's Jazz Club, American Trade Hotel, Casco Viejo, Panama
LabelBlue Note 509999 79516 2 9
ProducerWayne Shorter, Don Was
Wayne Shorter chronology
Without a Net
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
All About Jazz5/5 stars[2]
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Evening Standard3/5 stars[4]
Glide Magazine9/10[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]
Financial Times5/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[10]
The Times4/5 stars[11]

Emanon is a three-disc album by American jazz musician Wayne Shorter. The album was released on September 14, 2018 via Blue Note label, containing both studio and live recordings.[12][13] Emanon was initially a physical-only release available in two versions—a Standard Edition that includes three CDs with the graphic novel, and a Deluxe Edition that packages three vinyl LPs and three CDs with the graphic novel enclosed in a hardcover slipcase[14]. As on January 26, 2019, the album had been added to streaming service Spotify[15].


"Emanon" is a title taken from a Dizzy Gillespie and Milton Shaw composition "Noname" spelled backward.[16] The album is Shorter’s first in five years. The set is accompanied by a 74-page graphic novel created by Shorter together with writer Monica Sly and artist Randy DuBurke, whose career includes work for DC Comics. The book is a futuristic fantasy supported by Shorter’s philosophy of art.[7] It tells the story of a “rogue philosopher” named Emanon who travels among worlds, spreading a message of truth and empowerment and fighting against the powers of evil.[17][10] In his biography Shorter, a practicing Buddhist, explained "At this point I’m looking to express eternity in composition".[8]


Disc 1 was recorded in New York City and Casco Viejo, Panama in 2016 and features the Shorter’s quartet in a studio session with the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Discs 2 and 3 were recorded live in the Barbican Centre, London, in 2015 as a follow-up project of his previous album Without a Net. Wayne Shorter and Don Was produced the release.


At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 79, based on nine reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[1]

Larry Blumenfeld of The Wall Street Journal stated "Mr. Shorter’s music has always demanded alternate routes and suggested parallel worlds—it implies a multiverse of sorts. This package frames such ideas with splendor, elevating his stature in unexpected ways".[16] Chris Pearson of The Times wrote "By now we should have learnt to trust Wayne Shorter, the great saxophonist whose credits stretch back to Miles Davis and Weather Report. Still, one trembles at the prospect of his latest project, a triple orchestral album swimming in armchair philosophy, cod sociology and sci-fi and accompanied by a comic book. It sounds barmy and boring, but wait — come back. It’s actually brilliantly beautiful".[11] John Fordham of The Guardian added "If newcomers discover Shorter via this luxurious multimedia package, then Emanon will have done its job – but the music here is all that it really takes".[6] John Garratt of PopMatters noted "We can't go handing great reviews to Wayne Shorter just because he's Wayne Shorter; he has to prove that he can deliver the goods all over again. With Emanon, he has".[9]

At the 61st Grammy Awards, Emanon won the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.[18]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Wayne Shorter.

Disc 1

2."Prometheus Unbound"8:19
4."The Three Marias"12:30

Recorded by the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Avatar Studios, New York, and at Danilo's Jazz Club, American Trade Hotel, Casco Viejo, Panama.

Disc 2

1."The Three Marias"27:31
2."Lost and Orbits Medley"9:51

Recorded by the Wayne Shorter Quartet live at The Barbican, London, UK.

Disc 3

2."She Moves Through the Fair"6:24
3."Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean"4:31
4."Prometheus Unbound"14:26

Recorded by the Wayne Shorter Quartet live at The Barbican, London, UK.



  1. ^ a b "EMANON by Wayne Shorter". Metacritic. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Mark (14 September 2018). "Wayne Shorter: Emanon". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  3. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Emanon". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  4. ^ Cornwell, Jane (24 August 2018). "Wayne shorter - Emanon". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Fordham, John (31 August 2018). "Jazz album of the month: Wayne Shorter: Emanon review – vivid and sublimely thrilling". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b Hobart, Mike (24 August 2018). "Wayne Shorter: Emanon — intriguing harmonies and jagged rhythms". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b Kassel, Matthew (20 September 2018). "Wayne Shorter Emanon". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  9. ^ a b Garratt, John (29 August 2018). "Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Wayne Shorter Proves He Can Still Bring the Goods on 'Emanon'". PopMatters. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b Shteamer, Hank. "Review: Wayne Shorter Unveils a Sprawling Multimedia Opus on 'Emanon'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b Pearson, Chris (August 24, 2018). "Jazz review: Wayne Shorter: Emanon". The Times. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  12. ^ Chinen, Nate (September 14, 2018). "With 'Emanon,' Jazz Elder Wayne Shorter Grandly Sweeps The Stars". NPR. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Emanon". Discogs. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  14. ^ "EMANON (2018)". Blue Note. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  15. ^ EMANON, retrieved 2019-01-29
  16. ^ a b Blumenfeld, Larry (September 10, 2018). "'Emanon' by Wayne Shorter Review: Grand Ambitions on Full Display". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  17. ^ Russonello, Giovanni (September 12, 2018). "Wayne Shorter, Jazz's Abstruse Elder, Isn't Done Innovating Yet". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Wayne Shorter's Grammy Awards History". Recording Academy. Retrieved January 30, 2019.