He may be 84, but that isn’t stopping Wayne Shorter from breaking new ground in jazz—again. The legend, who has played with the likes of Miles Davis and Art Blakey, is set to release Emanon, a triple album that comes with a sci-fi graphic novel of the same name.
The comic is co-written by Shorter and screenwriter Monica Sly, and illustrated by Randy DuBurke, who has worked on many DC and Marvel titles. It’s a tale about “multiverse theory, or the idea that the universe we inhabit is one of an infinite number that all exist in parallel realities, according to a statement from record label Blue Note.
“I’d put the Emanon cuts on,” recalls DuBurke of the inspiration behind his illustrations. “Or I’d watch Cosmos videos with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Whatever came into my head as I sat at the drawing board, I sketched in black and white or in color. Wayne said, ‘Nobody’s gonna edit you just go with it.’ So I felt entirely free creatively.”
The album itself—“Emanon” is “no name” spelled backwards—is a reference to Dizzy Gillespie’s late-’40s composition of the same name. Shorter and his quartet had performed the record’s four tracks live, in 2013, with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; those appear on the first disc. The other two comprise live sets of The Wayne Shorter Quartet in London.
Emanon drops on August 24. Watch the preview video here: