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Gheorghe

Wayne Shorter "Schizophrenia"

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During my time of learning the music, most of the folks knew Wayne from Weather Report. And besides that I really loved the recordings of Miles´ second great quintet, with all those great Wayne Shorter compositions.

So, lookin for a Shorter album in a record store I picked up this one and since then, it is one of my favourite Shorter albums, more than that, one of the favourite albums from the old BN days. 

Fantastic group with James Spaulding, Herbie, Ron, and Joe Chambers (about whom we have a thread in the "Artists" category. 

The first tune "Tom Thumb" is really catchy, what a great start. 

The title tune, that great uptempo stuff I also found on "All Seeing Eye", really fast and fantastic drumming. 

About James Spaulding, I love his sound and his playing and compositions. I really wonder why he didn´t get a contract at BN. The got contracts for quite a few musicians, who remained quite obscure , they should have given Spaulding the chance, it would have been some of the greatests, like Jackie McLean and so on. 

Miyako is such a wonderful ballad, a slow waltz, and you just close your eyes and enjoy every aspect of it.

A very interesting stuff also, is the last tune "Playground". Such great drumming, and those fantastic contributions by Wayne, Spee and Herbie with the great Joe Chambers. Until now it never ceised to amaze me.

I´m very open for that kind of stuff and saw Wayne again in 2005 I think. Joe Zawinul made a speach before the concert and introduced the band. But I was quite astonished I didn´t hear much of what I expected. It seemed to be mostly free lines. I mean I´m not too conservative and if it would have been open things like you have on the more advanced Wayne albums from BN, it would have been great, but it sounded otherwise, maybe more in an ECM kind of style......who knows, maybe I just didn´t have the right day or mood for what was presented.....

Herunterladen (1).jpg

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17 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

About James Spaulding, I love his sound and his playing and compositions. I really wonder why he didn´t get a contract at BN. The got contracts for quite a few musicians, who remained quite obscure , they should have given Spaulding the chance, it would have been some of the greatests, like Jackie McLean and so on. 

Herunterladen (1).jpg

I love this album too.  Tom Thumb is a killer.

Why Blue Note didn't sign the contract with James Spaulding is a mystery for me too.  He was on so many great BN dates as a sideman...and after all, BN gave an opportunity to record leader album to even John Jenkins, J.R. Monterose, Fred Jackson, Tyrone Washington, etc.  Yeah they are great (my favorite players!), but...

Also, I'm interested in Wayne's "Game" themed pieces.  I'm pretty sure the 2nd tune "Go" is not "let's Go", it means the game of Go.  He also composed Mahjong, Ping Pong, Chess (Players).  Backgammon was by Walter Davis Jr.  I guess Wayne didn't compose Checkers, Reversi, etc.?  I'm also sorry that he didn't write a song based on Shogi, Japanese chess.

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Can’t talk about “Tom Thumb” without mentioning the first recorded/released version Wayne did with Bobby Timmons (and Ron Carter and Jimmy Cobb).

Recorded Jan 20, 1966 — almost 14 months before the version found on Schizophrenia was recorded (on March 10, 1967).

Slinky!!

 

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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"Playground" & "Schizophrenia" are intense.

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2005..... I heard Wayne about this time as well with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade. Remains the best jazz program I ever heard. In preparation for the concert I had spent a couple of weeks or so listening to Wayne in very heavy rotation. Mostly his leader dates. I was not disappointed. The program was an hour and 40 minutes or so, of continuous jazz that told us where he had been; where he was now; and hinted at where he was going. It was like a school book lesson in some respects. He would play an old tune, evolve it into a new tune on his current release and before he left it; show where it could go next time. Unbelievable. It was like he was saying  look where I can go with this and look how this came from that.  He continued to weave the present, with the past, and even the future in random fashion. Truly remarkable. A text book lesson in some respects. It was emotional, intelligent, and enjoyable all at the same time. I attribute my enjoyment of the program to the time I spent ahead of time revisiting his old work. I often suggest to those who question his most recent work to spend significant time listening to his whole catalog before taking on his most current effort. It is all there! His career and life on full display. Wayne is a treasure.

Just my opinion, FWIIW

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Wayne signed the back of my Liberty ‘Schizophrenia’ LP - that would be around 2003 when I caught the Quartet for the first time.

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Nobody can play a simple descending chromatic scale like Wayne Shorter (as he does on this album) and have it be so meaningful. 

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On 17.2.2022 at 5:12 PM, Morganized said:

2005..... I heard Wayne about this time as well with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade. Remains the best jazz program I ever heard. In preparation for the concert I had spent a couple of weeks or so listening to Wayne in very heavy rotation. Mostly his leader dates. I was not disappointed. The program was an hour and 40 minutes or so, of continuous jazz that told us where he had been; where he was now; and hinted at where he was going. It was like a school book lesson in some respects. He would play an old tune, evolve it into a new tune on his current release and before he left it; show where it could go next time. Unbelievable. It was like he was saying  look where I can go with this and look how this came from that.  He continued to weave the present, with the past, and even the future in random fashion. Truly remarkable. A text book lesson in some respects. It was emotional, intelligent, and enjoyable all at the same time. I attribute my enjoyment of the program to the time I spent ahead of time revisiting his old work. I often suggest to those who question his most recent work to spend significant time listening to his whole catalog before taking on his most current effort. It is all there! His career and life on full display. Wayne is a treasure.

Just my opinion, FWIIW

Thank you for this very informative analysis. Maybe if I would have read that before the concert I saw, I would have understood it a bit more. 

Well I don´t spend so many hours or even weeks just listening to a single artist. It might be some of my favourite Wayne like "All Seeing Eye", those really ferocious bands with the great Joe Chambers or above all with Elvin Jones, or the VSOP live dates with Tony Williams, and maybe on the other day I have a hard day and want to listen to some easy listening music like Jackie McLean´s "Swing Swang Swinging" which I did friday on late afternoon. 

So maybe the vibrations were not right for me on that certain night in 2004 or 2005. Don´t misunderstand me, I´m not the guy of just easy listening straight ahead hardbop, modal, neobop. I love open forms too, but weather "swing" or "free" it has to have some heavy pulsations and interaction between horns and drummer. That new style of Shorter at least then didn´t really reach me. But really, at some point I heard a glimpse of an old theme, and I heard some great sound on soprano too. 

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On 17/02/2022 at 6:12 PM, Morganized said:

2005..... I heard Wayne about this time as well with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade. 

I wish I'd seen them. One of the best post bop piano trios, in my opinion, up there with Hancock/Carter/Williams and Kuhn/Swallow/LaRoca.

I've really been enjoying Perez' Providencia recently.

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On 17/02/2022 at 0:04 PM, mhatta said:

Why Blue Note didn't sign the contract with James Spaulding is a mystery for me too.  He was on so many great BN dates as a sideman...and after all, BN gave an opportunity to record leader album to even John Jenkins, J.R. Monterose, Fred Jackson, Tyrone Washington, etc.  Yeah they are great (my favorite players!), but...

Does anyone know the answer to this? 

Presumably he was signed up. Otherwise how would he have been part of the permanent stable of session musicians. Or did it not work like that?

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On 2/17/2022 at 2:04 AM, mhatta said:

Why Blue Note didn't sign the contract with James Spaulding is a mystery for me too.  He was on so many great BN dates as a sideman...and after all, BN gave an opportunity to record leader album to even John Jenkins, J.R. Monterose, Fred Jackson, Tyrone Washington, etc.  Yeah they are great (my favorite players!), but...

Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but aside from Jackie McLean, Lou Donaldson and Ornette Coleman, did Blue Note record more than 2-3 albums led by any individual alto saxophonist?  

Maybe Lion/Wolff didn’t care for the instrument, or the market/audience for alto saxophonists wasn’t very big relative to trumpet or tenor.

Also seems significant that, aside from the Freddie Hubbard albums, Spaulding was usually featured in ensembles with at least two other horns.

 

Edited by Guy Berger

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7 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Does anyone know the answer to this? 

Presumably he was signed up. Otherwise how would he have been part of the permanent stable of session musicians. Or did it not work like that?

I've worked with James a decent amount and don't recall if we ever talked about this. I remember doing a gig with him and suggesting he play a few of the tunes from those Blue Note albums he was associated with like Minor League or D Minor Mint. Every gig people were coming up to him asking him to sign Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard albums and still he was skeptical. It wasn't a matter of not wanting to look back but more that he thought the music was a little too adventurous for the audience. I'm just a be-bopper he would say. I would say, I think some people might not totally agree with you on that one. I do remember reading an interview with him where he was asked this question and he said he didn't want to do it because he would have had to do a Sidewinder type of tune. He never was signed. Sidemen are hired for each specific record date but if you are liked and do well, you get called more.... Most labels do have their go to guys that are not signed to the label. It does put you in a better position to be considered for a contract though....

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People might forget that he was with Sun Ra before he was with anybody, in Chicago.

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22 minutes ago, david weiss said:

I've worked with James a decent amount and don't recall if we ever talked about this. I remember doing a gig with him and suggesting he play a few of the tunes from those Blue Note albums he was associated with like Minor League or D Minor Mint. Every gig people were coming up to him asking him to sign Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard albums and still he was skeptical. It wasn't a matter of not wanting to look back but more that he thought the music was a little too adventurous for the audience. I'm just a be-bopper he would say. I would say, I think some people might not totally agree with you on that one. I do remember reading an interview with him where he was asked this question and he said he didn't want to do it because he would have had to do a Sidewinder type of tune. He never was signed. Sidemen are hired for each specific record date but if you are liked and do well, you get called more.... Most labels do have their go to guys that are not signed to the label. It does put you in a better position to be considered for a contract though....

David - How is James doing these days? I was able to see him many years ago at the Up And Over Jazz Café and had a blast. It was recorded and released on a CD called "Blues Up and Over". I always wished I could see him again someday.

Blues Up & Over

I have never been able to find a copy of the sequel, called "Round To It Vol. 2".

Round to It, Vol. 2

I expect by now, at 84, he might not be playing anymore, but I hope he's at least living comfortably in his retirement.

Edited by bresna

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7 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Does anyone know the answer to this? 

Presumably he was signed up. Otherwise how would he have been part of the permanent stable of session musicians. Or did it not work like that?

I found his own explanation: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/james-spaulding-60s-sideman-extraordinaire-james-spaulding-by-clifford-allen

AAJ: You made so many appearances as a sideman on Blue Note. Did they ever ask you to do a record as a leader during that time?

JS: Well, Alfred Lion took me out to dinner and he asked me if I would like to record for Blue Note, if I would like a contract. I said sure, and he said [Spaulding does his best German accent] "well, you know you have a family (I had just had my first daughter) and you want to write some music for the jukebox!" He said "you want to write some 'Watermelon Man.'?" At the time he wanted something like Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Boogaloo," and as I was eating I said "okay Alfred, I'll be talking to you later." I never got back with him; I had all this stuff I'd written up, and that just killed all of that.

 

 

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Aha, interesting. Can’t say I blame him (though I wouldn’t have blamed him had he done as Alfred wanted either).

But it’s a great shame he never got the chance to do an album his way around that time. And just looking again, I guess I’d forgotten he never got a leader-date of his own material until 1988(!) — which is really a shame. That’s a lifetime after his ‘prime’ years on all those Blue Note dates, and even earlier with Sun Ra.

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52 minutes ago, mhatta said:

I found his own explanation: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/james-spaulding-60s-sideman-extraordinaire-james-spaulding-by-clifford-allen

AAJ: You made so many appearances as a sideman on Blue Note. Did they ever ask you to do a record as a leader during that time?

JS: Well, Alfred Lion took me out to dinner and he asked me if I would like to record for Blue Note, if I would like a contract. I said sure, and he said [Spaulding does his best German accent] "well, you know you have a family (I had just had my first daughter) and you want to write some music for the jukebox!" He said "you want to write some 'Watermelon Man.'?" At the time he wanted something like Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Boogaloo," and as I was eating I said "okay Alfred, I'll be talking to you later." I never got back with him; I had all this stuff I'd written up, and that just killed all of that.

 

 

Had an  interesting encounter with Spaulding, probably in the '80s. I went to hear a David Murray-led ensemble in NYC at the Blue Note, with Spauling in the band and Ralph Peterson thundering away on drums. Afterwards, I went up to Spaulding, introduced myself,  and mentioned a review I'd written some fifteen years years before of an excellent Freddie Hubbard quintet (with Spaulding, Kenny Barron, Junie Booth and I don't recall who on drums)  that was appearing at Ahmad Jamal's short-lived Chicago club the Tejar, and that included (the review, that is) a paragraph extolling James' virtues. He proceeded to quote what I'd said about him back then virtually word for word. I found this touching but also a bit sad, as though he had preserved those words in his memory all those years because similar words of praise seldom had come his way.

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2 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Aha, interesting. Can’t say I blame him (though I wouldn’t have blamed him had he done as Alfred wanted either).

But it’s a great shame he never got the chance to do an album his way around that time. And just looking again, I guess I’d forgotten he never got a leader-date of his own material until 1988(!) — which is really a shame. That’s a lifetime after his ‘prime’ years on all those Blue Note dates, and even earlier with Sun Ra.

You know, if they were still doing Mosaic Selects, those Muse dates would make a nice collection. I remember SONGS OF COURAGE, with a few guests appearances by Roland Alexander, being quite fine.

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Spaulding with Ra...J-Mac inspired, but for sure he had his own thing developing:

 

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7 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Aha, interesting. Can’t say I blame him (though I wouldn’t have blamed him had he done as Alfred wanted either).

But it’s a great shame he never got the chance to do an album his way around that time. And just looking again, I guess I’d forgotten he never got a leader-date of his own material until 1988(!) — which is really a shame. That’s a lifetime after his ‘prime’ years on all those Blue Note dates, and even earlier with Sun Ra.

They probably could have worked it out.  Seems like a lot of BN albums from that period had one hit-attempt tune and five more substantial cuts.

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Spaulding is scorching hot on a guest appearance augmenting William Parker’s quartet from 2009 Vision Fest. Also added to the quartet are Billy Bang  & Bobby Bradford. It’s on Wood Flute Songs. One of the best sets of recorded live jazz or that time-frame. Parker’s classic group with Lewis Barnes, Rob Brown & Hamid Drake. 
 

fwiw the 4 discs with just the core quartet with full shows from 2006 & 2007 included in the 8 CD box set are also spectacular and recorded in excellent multi-track quality. The first one from Yoshi’s is especially stunning. 

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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4 hours ago, Steve Reynolds said:

Spaulding is scorching hot on a guest appearance augmenting William Parker’s quartet from 2009 Vision Fest. Also added to the quartet are Billy Bang  & Bobby Bradford. It’s on Wood Flute Songs. One of the best sets of recorded live jazz or that time-frame. Parker’s classic group with Lewis Barnes, Rob Brown & Hamid Drake. 
 

fwiw the 4 discs with just the core quartet with full shows from 2006 & 2007 included in the 8 CD box set are also spectacular and recorded in excellent multi-track quality. The first one from Yoshi’s is especially stunning. 

:tup

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On 2/20/2022 at 8:17 AM, bresna said:

David - How is James doing these days? I was able to see him many years ago at the Up And Over Jazz Café and had a blast. It was recorded and released on a CD called "Blues Up and Over". I always wished I could see him again someday.

Blues Up & Over

I have never been able to find a copy of the sequel, called "Round To It Vol. 2".

Round to It, Vol. 2

I expect by now, at 84, he might not be playing anymore, but I hope he's at least living comfortably in his retirement.

I spoke to James maybe 6 months or so ago. He seems to be doing fine but unfortunately, he lost his wife recently. 

I don't think he is playing anymore and I don't know of any public performances for a few years now. 

It's a shame, he's great. 

In 2008, he did a number of gigs with a Freddie Hubbard All-Star 70th Birthday tour. He emerged as the star of the show to me in pretty heady company. 

He was also in the Cookers at the beginning. 

I think I helped James a little with Round to It. If I recall correctly, I bought them to my mastering guy to master the CD.

I'm on the road now but I will look for it when I get home and if I have a 2nd copy, I'll gladly give it to you....

On 2/20/2022 at 0:35 PM, JSngry said:

Spaulding with Ra...J-Mac inspired, but for sure he had his own thing developing:

 

Well... the Sun Ra stuff was fairly straight ahead in that time period if I recall correctly. I'll have to give this a listen, it's been a while. 

I just relayed what James told me, I didn't say I agreed and was pretty surprised he told me this (and then called something like Satin Doll on the gig). Over the years I've been surprised about how conservative (comparatively) a few musicians who are on all those adventurous are. I wondered if they always were like that and just going with the flow or they developed into that as they got older. A few don't speak kindly of the some the (great) electric stuff they did in the '70s either. You never know I guess....

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1 hour ago, david weiss said:

Well... the Sun Ra stuff was fairly straight ahead in that time period if I recall correctly.

Mostly, yes, and definitely when heard with today's knowledges.

There was also, though, the political things that came with working with Ra for any time. so Spaulding's disinterest in making a jukebox song might have some roots there. Or not. But of all the Chicago-era Ra players who moved to NY, him and Pat Patrick are the two who had the highest outside profile, and Spaulding was really the only one who engaged in the commerce of music to any meaningful/clearly visible degree. So it's like, yes, he would work a gig, but no, he would not work ANY gig, and if it was HIS gig, he obviously was not interested in (as he probably saw it) distorting his identity to suit somebody else's needs/wants.

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Again about "Schizophrenia". I never read liner notes while listening to the music, usually I read them after listening to the music. But the first thing written here, something that Wayne tries to explain about as I supose interaction between musicians, sounds really abstract. Anyway in most of the cases I say the music speaks for itself, so I´m not unhappy if there is no liner notes.....

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