Wayne Shorter Schizophrenia (1967) Liberty

Track selection: Schizophrenia


Curtis Fuller (tb) James Spaulding (as, fl) Wayne Shorter (ts) Herbie Hancock (p) Ron Carter (b) Joe Chambers (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 10, 1967


You guessed it, I’m in two minds about this record. Part of me has never been that keen on Shorter. I thought he was the least musical tenor voice with the Jazz Messengers, however the other part of me is warming to the composer Shorter and Shorter as an ensemble – Herbie Hancock’s percussive comping (before his brain went funky and finally  turned into mush with the likes of the Imagine Project), high energy percussion and an altogether more brooding abstract tonal canvas rather than “tunes”.

I particularly like the Curtis Fuller presence, reminiscent to the trajectory of Grachan Moncur III, the trombone can be a fearsome instrument once it steps outside its traditional marching band role. Adding Spaulding on alto to counterpoint Shorters tenor adds yet more musical tension. I think I am now beginning to appreciate this record, though it falls outside the traditional  “Blue Note Collector” field of view, catalogue number higher than 4250 – Liberty era, but there is music here to be found and savoured.

Vinyl: BST 84297 First pressing Division of Liberty.

Cover: LJC Thinks –  score 3/5.

 Solarised colour image in mirrored split screen emphasising the title “dual personality”. Topical title. The Sixties was a time when everyone  who was anyone in New York had a shrink, someone who would listen to you non-judgementally for $50 an hour, things a friend would do for nothing, but busy people didn’t have time to make friends. So we have pop-psychology diagnoses finding their way into popular speech.

The Matrix

Liberty, pressing plant unknown. Possibly one of the RCA three national plants, or a jobbing commercial contractor.

Liner Notes: Audition copy it says.

Collectors Corner

Source: West London Soul specialist, a few years back.

It’s good to get off the shelf stuff you bought a few years ago and haven’t played again, to re-evaluate how you find it now. In those last few years a lot has been going on inside your head, changes to your musical taste buds, experiencing new flavours, fatiguing of old favourites, enjoying the unexpected. There is probably a treasure trove of music for you to discover on your own shelves, and it’s free! You already own it.


1 thought on “Wayne Shorter Schizophrenia (1967) Liberty

  1. Thanks so much for this review. I thought I was the only one not wowed by Shorter’s playing. But I do admire him greatly as a composer, so he’s well-represented in my collection. Schizophrenia is his one five star album I don’t own. It’s considerably pricier on vinyl than any of his other albums but I may need to make the plunge despite that.

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