Friday, July 1, 2011
Wayne Shorter - Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a high water mark of the later 60's Blue Note catalog. Blue Note was slipping sales wise by this point. The entire jazz community was losing steam behind the rock output of the era. Jazz, as a whole was also losing face with the record buying public behind the "free" explosion. Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman had already made their greatest statements almost 8 years before and lots of "legitimate" players decided they would grow their hair out and wear a dashiki and release a few skronky records to keep up with the young lions. In 1968, it was a little risky for Wayne Shorter to be sticking closely to rhythm and chord changes, but he held to what he loved doing rather than jump on some freaknik bandwagon and Blue Note records supported whatever decision their artists made, cuz they were righteous. Not that Shorter didn't have an ear towards the freer, as one could deduce from portions of albums like "The All Seeing Eye" or bits of the last tune on this album, Playground, where the band seemingly flies totally apart at one point, only to slam back together in perfect time. More evidence that musicians back in the day were just THE BEST. I guess when you didn't have video games to play or blogs to tend to, all there was to do was to get super rad at an instrument and then go to a studio where the engineers only had to push record and mix.
I love this guy. I've even own his biography. I could never get behind Weather Report, (and as a bassist, believe you me, I tried. I could go off about how I think fusion sucks, but I'd rather spend my time on this blog writing about what's awesome) but still, his body of work is just amazing. Schizophrenia stands up tall next to his earlier masterpieces like Hear No Evil and Juju. I jacked that link from a google search so if you have to use a password, tough nuts. I have other things to do with my day than babysit Mediafire.