SNJO plays Wayne Shorter
The music of saxophonist Wayne Shorter is the latest to come under the radar of Tommy Smith and the excellent Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and promises to be one of their most memorable incursions.
‘Wayne is a superlative composer of memorable music that has a harmonic and melodic edge,’ Smith said, ‘and is now in the standard jazz repertoire.’
Shorter is one of the most individual creative talents in postwar jazz. He came to fame with the great Miles Davis Quintet of the 60s before linking up with Joe Zawinul to found Weather Report. More recently, his own Quartet has been arguably the leading small group in jazz.
The SNJO will play arrangements of classic Shorter compositions by Florian Ross, Michael Abene, Pino Iodice, Geoffrey Keezer, Issie Barratt, Mike Gibbs, Manu Pekar, Fred Sturm, Joe Locke and Christian Jacob.
Tommy Smith gave a lot of thought to a guest soloist, and eventually decided that rather than asking a saxophonist he would turn to a great performer on an altogether different instrument – his old leader, Gary Burton, on vibraphone.
‘As you know I played in Gary’s group in the late 80s, and we’ve stayed good friends. He’s one of the truly great improvisers, and he is also a historical figure in jazz in his own right. And we’ll have five saxophonists in the orchestra!’
Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Thu 10 Sep; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 11 Sep; RSAMD, Glasgow, Sat 12 Sep; MacRobert, Stirling, Sun 13 Sep