Saturday Odds & Sods: Freezing Fire

Wayne Shorter Deconstructed by Bruce Rubenstein.

In typical New Orleans fashion, we went from too little rain to too much on Labor Day. Some parts of the metro area had 7 inches of rain. Some friends of mine lost vehicles to the rising tide of rainwater. We do nothing in moderation in New Orleans.

Dr A and I were caught in the downpour on our way home from the Apple Store in Metry. I traded in my malfunctioning iPhone SE for a functioning model. I like the home button, so the fancier models are out for me. I can still take cat pictures with the SE camera, after all.

This week’s theme song was composed by Wayne Shorter for Weather Report’s 1975 album Tale Spinnin’.

We have two versions of Freezing Fire for your listening pleasure: the studio original and WR live in ’75.

I wish I was freezing instead of sweltering. Maybe this Nick Lowe number will help me chill out:

It didn’t work. How about a little fire, readers?

We begin our second act with segments about the oddest couple imaginable: Britney Spears and Wayne Shorter.

With Fans Like These, Who Needs Enemies? There’s a fascinating piece in New York Magazine by Rebecca Jennings about Britney Spears and the more unhinged members of her fan base. The conspiracy theorists among them are speculating about poor Britney and her post conservatorship life. They pose the question: Is Britney really free? Beats the hell outta me. For her sake, I hope they’re wrong. She’s been through enough already.

For the details, click here. The truth will set you free or some such shit.

I have a hunch I know what Britney would say to her nuttier fans, Mind Your Business:

Lady Day agrees with those guys:

Documentary Of The Week: The word genius is overused. There areĀ  few geniuses among us. One of them was the late saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter.

I wrote a tribute to Wayne in this space after his death at age 89. I was thrilled to learn that there was a three-part docuseries on his life streaming at Amazon Prime.

Zero Gravity is an artfully done and carefully conceived film that covers Wayne Shorter’s life from his youth in Newark, NJ to his years as a jazz elder statesman.

Wayne was interviewed extensively by the filmmakers before his passing. He was an even more interesting man than I previously thought. His life story is one of adversity, resilience, and great music. I didn’t know much about his personal life before seeing Zero Gravity: I’m pleased to report that Wayne Shorter was as good a human being as he was a musician.

Wayne loved mentoring younger musicians. The scenes of him playing with his last Quartet are genuinely moving. You can see the love that his proteges had for Wayne. That goes for the interview segments with Wayne’s best friend, Herbie Hancock as well.

Here’s the trailer:

Grading Time: I give Zero Gravity 4 stars and an Adrastos Grade of A-. It’s a must-see series for music lovers.

The last word of our second act goes to the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Zero Gravity followed by a classic track from Wayne and Milton Nascimento:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: We’re keeping it jazzy with Don Cheadle and Miles Davis. Cheadle directed and starred in the 2015 Miles biopic, Miles Ahead.

We exit this segment with a Wayne Shorter composition from the ironically titled album, Miles Smiles:

Your Weekly Oscar: OP brings the pianistic fire without freezing the swamp.

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?

Saturday GIF Horse: This image of Miles Davis could be called Miles Glowers. Herbie Hancock was the target of his ire. Miles is one of the few men to ever be afflicted with resting bitch face.

Here’s a GIF featuring Wayne Shorter’s Weather Report band mate, Jaco Pastorius:

Wayne Shorter didn’t move around much on stage, but he sure could play:

The Best Of Johnny: Honorary New Orleanian and all-around nice guy Jimmy Buffett died recently at the age of 76. Here’s Jimmy on The Tonight Show in 1981:

The Junk Drawer: This comic book image of Wayne Shorter was the winner of a contest Wayne and his record label ran in 2018. It’s as cool as its subject.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Closer: Our jazz theme continues with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, and Brian Blades live at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2014.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

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