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.
Liberty, pressing plant unknown. Possibly one of the RCA three national plants, or a jobbing commercial contractor.
Liner Notes: Audition copy it says.
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.