Playlist – 24 November 2015

  1. Cassandra Wilson – Come On In My Kitchen from Blue Light Til Dawn
  2. Rachelle Ferrell – Prayer Dance from First Instrument
  3. Zara McFarlane – Woman In The Olive Grove from If You Knew Her
  4. Esperanza Spalding – Cinnamon Tree from Radio Music Society
  5. Carmen Lundy – Soul To Soul from Soul To Soul
  6. Dayme Arocena – Don’t Unplug My Body from Nueva Era
  7. Joyce & Tutty Moreno – April Child from Samba Jazz & Outras Bossas
  8. Hiromi – Brain from Brain
  9. Alice Coltrane – Transcendence – from Transcendence

Playlist – 18 November 2015: weaving melodies

This week’s CJ has no obvious theme but vocals and strong melodies are certainly woven through Derek’s selections. The show started with a track from the new album by Wojciech Staroniewicz – a krzysztof komedatribute to Poland’s greatest composer of film music, Krzysztof Komeda. This doctor and jazz pianist was dead at the age of 37 but in his short life he had penned the scores for more than 40 films, including most of Roman Polanski’s up to and including Rosemary’s Baby. Staroniewicz isn’t the first to focus on Komeda’s music – one of our CJ favourites Tomasz Stanko is a frequent interpreter of his work as evidenced by his great ECM album Litania. The Polish link continued with two more tracks from new releases available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds – the first from the trio led by pianist Franciszek Raczkowski and the second from violinist Bartosz Dworak’s group.

ian carr don rendell phase IIIBlack Marigolds by Michael Garrick is here performed in the version on the Phase III album from the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet. With Garrick’s interest in Oriental poetry and church music very apparent in many of his recordings, I’m sure that the title of this piece refers to a now largely forgotten translation by E Powys Mathers of the epic Sanskrit love poem Chaurapanchasika. Mathers was a frequent translator of eastern poetry and I’m sure that Garrick would have known his work.

With the arrival of a second Strut compilation of tracks (this sun ra - gilles petersontime compiled by Gilles Peterson) it’s difficult to avoid the music of Sun Ra at the moment. Derek chose Enlightenment from the collection called Space Odyssey. In fact, this track first appeared on the ground-breaking Jazz in Silhouette album from 1959 but it sounds contemporary. Of the hundreds of Sun Ra albums now available this one should be in any jazz lover’s collection as it features another track played several times on CJ, the extraordinary Ancient Aiethopia [sic].

download (2)Current CJ favourite vocalist is Cecile McLorin Salvant and this week Derek chose one of her own evocative compositions, Fog. The show ended with two more distinctive vocalists, the British Zara McFarlane and the Brazilian Flora Purim. Junior Murvin’s reggae classic Police and Thieves has been covered by a few artists (most notably The Class on their eponymous first album) but this version is beautifully measured – and just as evocative in The Clash’s interpretation. You can see McFarlane’s video of the song here.

  1. Wojciech Staroniewicz – Cherry from A’Freak-Komeda Project
  2. Franciszek Raczkowski Trio – 5/8 from Apprentice
  3. Bartosz Dworak Quartet – Lullaby For Night Marks from Polished
  4. Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Black Marigolds from Phase III
  5. Sun Ra – Enlightenment from A Space Odyssey
  6. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Fog from For One to Love
  7. Zara McFarlane – Police and Thieves from If You Knew Her
  8. Chick Corea – 500 Miles High from Light as a Feather

Playlist – 11 November 2015

eclipseThis week’s Cosmic Jazz features some interesting collaborations. First up was a much played track on CJ – the irresistible dance grooves of Louis Vega’s Fania remix project, Eclipse – and this was followed by the title track from a new release from young violinist Bartosz Dworak. A second collaboration was next: Gilles Peterson is not only an aficionado of Brazilian music but now a producer and instigator of new music – like his Brasil Bam Bam project. This track featured the sonzeira_070714
vocals of Seu Jorge’s old band mate, Gabriel Moura on the track Um Toque – and you can hear a Soundcloud interview with Gilles and Seu Jorge here. Derek stayed on the Brazilian tip with another track but this time from Jorge Ben and Toquinho – the immortal Carolina Carol Bela, as featured on the excellent compilation Brazilian Beats 1. This slice of Rio fun was memorably mixed into a drum and bass club classic by Brazilian DJs Marky and XRS.

michael brecker talesNext up was a lengthy piece from the excellent album The Light Years of the Darkness from Emanative with Finn Peters on flute. This collaborative project is the first release for the Steve Reid Foundation and features Four Tet, Collocutor, The Pyramids, Earl Zinger, Jessica Lauren and Ahmed Abdullah. We ended the show with the late Michael Brecker on top form in a track from his Tales of the Hudson Impulse album and a final collaboration from Finn Jimi Tenor and Nigerian Tony Allen – an unlikely but effective pairing of nu-jazz and afrobeat.

  1. Elements Of Life – This Is Us (Roots mix feat. Ursula Rucker) from Eclipse
  2. Bartosz Dworak – Polished from Polished
  3. Sonzeira – Um Toque from Brasil Bam Bam
  4. Jorge Ben & Toquinho – Carolina Carol Bela from Brazilian Beats 1
  5. Emanative – Fire (feat. Collocutor and Finn Peters) from The Light Years of the Darkness
  6. Michael Brecker – African Skies from Tales from the Hudson
  7. Jimi Tenor/Tony Allen – Three Continents from Inspiration Information

Video this week comes from master drummer Tony Allen, here performing live in 2013. Watch the man Brian Eno called “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived.”

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Playlist – 04 November 2015: featuring Cecile McLorin Salvant

I tend to be cautious about records with a significant percentage of  standards in them. But there’s been an album in this category released this year that is as good as any I have heard since I
was overwhelmed by  the Rachelle Ferrell album First Instrument released in the UK in 1995. I am talking of Cecile McLorin Salvant’s For One To Love. Click the Mixcloud tab where you can hear three tunes from the album and judge for yourself.

Five of the twelve tracks on the album are original compositions and download (2)good they are too – but I chose to play her versions of tunes by Bernstein/Sondheim, Monique Andree Serf and David/Bacharach. This is because she brings a voice full of expression, with varieties of mood and real adaptability to these compositions. There is also the all important matter of the instrumentation: she’s got a jazz piano trio line-up that is tough sounding at times, subtle when it needs to be and full of inventive phrases. The album cover features Salvant’s own interesting artwork. You can hear her live at the 2014 Marciac Festival here.

The Abbey Lincoln CD recorded in Paris in 1980, with Hilton Ruiz and Archie Shepp among the musicians, was something I picked up from a unique treasure of a shop called Rare and Racy in Sheffield which sells a lot of jazz that is on the more specialised and obscure end of the spectrum. This unique record and book store has been a feature in the area since 1969 and sadly is now threatened by the forces of ‘improvement’ and materialism.

The Cosmic Jazz Essential track this week came from Donald Byrd. Cristo Redentor is a Duke Pearson composition inspired by the imposing Christ the Redeemer statue that stands on Corcovado MI0002351266
mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. The chorus followed by Byrd’s clear and restrained trumpet solo create a tune with an atmosphere of awe, wonder and spirituality. Herbie Hancock, Hank Mobley and Kenny Burrell are among the other musicians. Cristo Redentor is now a standard in its own right, having been recorded by artists as varied as David Sanborn, Harvey Mandel and S Moss featuring Busta Rhymes! The Brazilian connection continued with Dave Valentin’s version of Milton Nascimento’s classic Cravo e Canela (Cinnamon and Cloves), another tune much covered by both Brazilian and jazz artists. Try Flora Purim’s live Montreux version on her album 500 Miles High or Nascimento’s own take on his 1976 release Milton.

At this point, the programme changed seamlessly into some rather different sounds: the edgy, contemporary beats of the Jachna&Buhl duo from Poland, followed by more from the Scotland based David Patrick Octet and their jazz rendition of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. For more details check www.birnamcd.comUp next was the exciting, free and unpredictable sound of Oslo-based Lucky Novak. Below is an indiosycratic video Lucky Novak have sent us to prove this.

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The programme ended in calmer waters with a quartet led by violinist Bartosz Dvorak. Like the Jachna&Buhl this is available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds. It is wonderful music, but  the tune had to be faded out because of time. There will be more to come in future shows.

  1. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Something’s Coming from For One To Love
  2. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Le Mal de Vivre from For One To Love
  3. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Wives and Lovers from For One To Love
  4. Abbey Lincoln – Caged Bird from Painted Lady
  5. Donald Byrd – Cristo Redentor from A New Perspective [Cosmic Jazz Essential]
  6. Dave Valentin – Cinnamon and Cloves from Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls
  7. Jachna&Buhl – Obi Wan from Synthomatic
  8. David Patrick Octet – Wedding Song of the Chosen One from The Rite of Spring
  9. Lucky Novak – Spartakus from Up! Go!
  10. Bartosz Dvorak Quartet – Lullaby for Night Marks from Polished

The greatest week in avantgarde jazz?

There’s a question mark at the end of this feature title – but it probably doesn’t need to be there. In one week in August 1969, a group of American musicians holed up just north of Paris produced over 12 albums worth of material. The writer Britt Robson has produced an absorbing feature for Red Bull Academy Daily and it’s so good it deserves to be read by our CJ listeners. You can check out the article here. It begins like this…

Thank God somebody bought Lester Bowie’s couch in the spring of 1969. And his chairs, bed and desk. Otherwise, the most glorious week in avant-garde jazz history would never have happened. “Lester was selling all the furniture in his house to take the band to Europe,” recalls saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell of his trumpeter-friend and cohort. “He put an ad in the [Chicago] Defender, ‘Musician sells out.’”

jazzactuel compilationMuch of the music was to appear of the BYG label, a short lived but influential avantgarde jazz imprint founded in Paris by Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young and Fernand Boruso. You should still be able to find the 3CD collection called JazzActuel: a collection of avant garde/free jazz/psychedelia from the BYG/Actuel catalogue of 1969–1971. It was released by Charly Records in the UK.

[With grateful thanks to Britt Robson for his insightful writing. You can find more of his work on the Wondering Sound blog.]

Playlist – 28 October 2015: tributes to Don Rendell, Mark Murphy, Coleridge Goode.

R-493009-1336866892-8056.jpegThis image is of the first jazz record I ever           bought just after hearing live jazz for the first time at a college in North London. I discovered exciting sounds that at the time were new to me. The band was The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet. I guess that night has continued to  influence my musical tastes and my record collection.

This week’s show paid respects to three late jazz artists all of whom died this last month: Don Rendell (born 1926), Coleridge Goode (born 1914) and Mark Murphy (born 1932). They were not, as I said on the programme, from the British jazz scene, although all of them contributed to it. Don Rendell was UK born and based; Coleridge Goode was born in Jamaica but most of his playing career was in the UK; Mark Murphy was born in the USA but lived in Europe in the 1960s,  frequently visited the UK and was later an important part of the British jazz dance scene.

Neil has already posted extensive notes about Mark Murphy on this site. I played three Murphy tunes – an early treatment of My
Favourite Things
, his unique take on Herbie Hancock’s Sly and a mark murphy stolen momentsdriving version of Milton Nascimento’s Empty Faces. There is nothing to add to Neil’s comments, other than to record that I am pleased to say that I saw Mark Murphy at the Bull’s Head in Barnes, not long after the first jazz experience mentioned above. Neil notes: The track played as Dingwalls from the Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls compilation is actually Milton Nascimento’s Empty Faces – one of many Brazilian tunes recorded by Murphy.

Soprano and tenor sax, clarinet and flute player Don Rendell was one of those innovative British jazz players in the 1960s  whose music has stood the test of time and who illustrated the strength of the British jazz scene back then. It is fitting that BGO Records and the Impressed label have overseen the re-releasing of some of this ian carr dusk firegreat music. BGO re-released two Don Rendell/Ian Carr records: Shades of Blue and Dusk Fire, both of which we have featured on previous editions of CJ. I played Dusk Fire, a Michael Garrick composition on which Don Rendell played soprano sax. The tune should really qualify as a Cosmic Jazz essential – it’s certainly one of our all time favourites and is a deep and moving tune. Don Rendell  played compositions of his own and Tan Samfu  was an interesting example – named after a samfu costume that his friend Gerry Tan brought back from the Far East.  Don Rendell was also for much of his life a respected music educator working with students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Coleridge Goode who has died aged 100, was a bass player who left Jamaica to study engineering in Glasgow but stayed on in the UK to become an important jazz bass player. It was with the radical Jamaican saxophonist Joe Harriott that Goode’s innovative bass lines got widely noticed. Abstractreleased in 1964, was an important example and the tune Tonal highlights the strength of his playing. His bass was added in 1999 to Love For Sale, a tune recorded years earlier by the Joe Harriott Duo.

An Impressed re-pressing in 2004 was the album Troppo from michael garrick troppopianist Michael Garrick, who was not only  a vital part of the Rendell/Carr Quintet but also used Coleridge Goode on his seminal record Jazz Praiseswhich I once saw him perform in Norwich Cathedral. Garrick also played with Joe Harriott and Fellow Feeling is a moving dedication by him to Joe Harriott.  Among the musicians on the  recording are both Don Rendell and Coleridge Goode – a fitting tribute to both of them as well.

  1. The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Dusk Fire from Dusk Fire
  2. The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Tan Samfu from Dusk Fire
  3. The Joe Harriott Quintet – Tonal from Abstract
  4. Joe Harriott Duo (with Coleridge Goode added) – Love For Sale from Genius
  5. Mark Murphy – My Favorite Things from Rah!
  6. Mark Murphy – Sly from Stolen Moments
  7. Mark Murphy –  Empty Faces from Mark Murphy Sings
  8. Michael Garrick – Fellow Feeling from Troppo
  9. The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Spooks from Dusk Fire

Mark Murphy 1932-2015: an appreciation

mark murphy 01The first thing to say is that Mark Murphy was an icon. A living embodiment of Kerouac ‘hipster’ chic, Murphy truly lived the jazz life. No other jazz artist presented this so clearly through his music: Murphy recorded Kerouac stories, he wrote lyrics for modern jazz standards that incorporated bebop imagery and with his resonant baritone he nailed that mix of jazz phrasing and vocalese better than anyone. Modern singers from Kurt Elling to Gregory Porter owe him a huge debt. The shame is that in the wake of his death there aren’t the column inches to reflect that influence.

Mark Murphy was born in Syracuse, New York, joining his brother’s dance band as a teenage singer. Influences were already clear – Nat King Cole, Anita O’Day and Ella Fitzgerald. Murphy was always interested in acting (he graduated in music and drama) and would go back to the stage and television when he wasn’t recording.

In 1958 he briefly moved to Los Angeles and recorded for Capitolmark murphy rah
before returning to New York and recording the Rah! album on Riverside Records. This featured versions of Horace Silver’s Doodlin’ and the standard On Green Dolphin Street. But perhaps the most productive time for Murphy was the 1970s and his time with the Muse label. These consistently good recordings feature him at his eclectic best. Albums
like Bop for Kerouac, Beauty and the Beast and – above all – Stolen mark murphy stolen momentsMoments feature imaginative arrangements, original lyrics and
great productions. Stolen Moments has the inspirational title track, Murphy’s take on Herbie Hancock’s Sly and his soaring vocals on Dori Caymmi’s sensational Like a Love(r) (O Cantador) which close the album. Several of these eighteen Muse albums – including Stolen Moments – were nominated for Grammy awards.

Murphy has also appeared on records by the Japanese nu-jazz group United Future Organization where he wrote and rapped lyrics on songs composed with his young collaborators. This collaboration opened up further new audiences in the acid-jazz and hip-hop genres, most notably in his fabulous (literally) lyrics for Dingwalls, in which he name-checked the famous north London venue where jazz dancers showed how timeless his music was.

mark murphy love is what staysWith a new Verve contract, he recorded Once to Every Heart in 2005 and Love is What Stays in 2007. Both albums featured Murphy on a range of ballads and were produced by German trumpeter Till Bronner. But for a different take on 21C Murphy try this innovative Henrik Schwartz remix from 2012. Murphy’s last recording – fittingly a limited edition on vinyl only and through the UK-based Gearbox Records – was a tribute to another iconic singer, Murphy’s contemporary Shirley Horn. Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn was released in 2013.

Two British DJs (both much beloved by this site) – Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge – have produced their own heartfelt tributes to Murphy. Here’s Peterson’s Mark Murphy mix from 2008 and we end this celebration of Murphy’s music with these fitting words from Forge on Facebook: So waking up today I’m filled with sadness at Mark’s passing, last time I saw him was in Tokyo, I went to his gig with Shuya Okino, he seemed very frail but was still just as mesmerising in performance, still taking risks, in the moment, going where the music took him. We chatted afterwards and I remember thinking as we left that it would probably be the last time. I’ll always remember interviewing Mark after one of his shows at Dingwalls, and asking him about the lyrics to Red Clay… he told me about how he’d phoned Freddie Hubbard to ask him about where the title had come from, Freddie had told him about playing on the red clay growing up in Indianopolis. Mark’s lyrics are so wonderfully evocative, they seem to capture a whole world, joyful and playful and naturally hip. Maybe “hip” seems an odd word to use, but Mark was an original hipster, a product and devotee of the “Beat Generation” who lovingly crafted music around Jack Kerouac’s words on more than one occasion. Like those writers, his defiance of the humdrum, his pursuit of truth and beauty, his questing soul was always searching for the chance to take flight… Mark’s voice had wings that grew out of the original counter culture, made of poetry and jazz. We have lost a consummate singer, a superb lyricist who could create sublime poetry around great jazz melodies, a fearless improviser and a legendary character. R.I.P.

I also saw Murphy live, but here in the UK in a small jazz club in the heart of rural Suffolk – a lifetime away from New York or Tokyo. It was a never to be forgotten experience, but as soon as I’m back from Beijing I’ll be reliving that classic voice all over again when all those Murphy albums are once more on the turntable.

Playlist – 21 October 2015: Black Renaissance

black-renaissance-cvrIt had to happen soon and it happened this week. The 23 minutes 43 seconds of Black Renaissance by pianist Harry Whitaker became our Cosmic Jazz Essential tune. It is simply one of my all-time favourite tunes, recorded in a free, party spirit in 1976 and very, very difficult to find until released by Ubiquity Records in 2002. It is soulful, spiritual, modal, unpredictable and highly charged. There are instruments and voices, poetry and, in effect, rap in the same year that rap supposedly started. The first rap record?

If you have not heard of Harry Whitaker you will know many of the people he played with. These included Roy Ayers (Harry played keys on We Live in Brooklyn), Roberta Flack (he became her music director) and Gwen Guthrie (he played piano on her classic Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent). Whitaker also played on recordings by – among others – Terumasa Hino, Norman Connors, Carmen Lundy, Phyllis Hyman, Gary Bartz and Mtume. His standing can be judged by the quality of the musicians he assembled for the Mind, Body and Spirit session – Woody Shaw, Azar Lawrence, Buster Williams, Billy Hart and Mtume. Here at Cosmic Jazz we think that you just HAVE to hear and own this record. It’s as essential (and influential) as Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme and Mingus Ah Um. Without it no jazz record collection would be complete.

Also on the show this week was new music from Oslo-based band Lucky Novak who have a new release entitled Up!Go! The band is the brainchild of British alto saxophonist Tim Lowerson and Norwegian bassist Ture Ringereide. They are always moving on and prepared to experiment and for this album they have dispensed with piano which is replaced by trombone but they draw upon an eclectic range of influences.The tune this week one has to presume is a tribute to one of those influences – Ornette Coleman.

There was another play for the David Patrick Octet, another band offering something different with their jazz take on Stravinsky’s Rite philip cohran on the beachof Spring. The Jelle Van Giel Group are never far from our playlists these days and the show ended with Philip Cohran and his Artistic Heritage Ensemble. Cohran played with Sun Ra and is the father of the eight members of The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Enjoy below a video track of the band and then click the Mixcloud tab to hear this week’s  programme.

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  1. Lucky Novak – Ornette from Up!Go!
  2. David Patrick Octet – Introduction Act II – The Great Sacrifice from The Rite of Spring
  3. Jelle Van Giel Group – The Truth from Songs for Everyone
  4. Harry Whitaker – Black Renaissance from Body, Mind and Spirit
  5. Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – Unity Live 1968 from On the Beach

Playlist – 14 October 2015: Belgiana

The MixCloud tab is waiting to be clicked and there is a rare mixture of music for you to hear from a wide range of sources and places.

I don’t think we have ever started a Cosmic Jazz programme before where the first two tunes features artists from Belgium. The first was the excellent group led by the drummer Jelle Van Giel. The album Songs for Everyone is very strong and highly recommended. The tune I played – A Song for Everyone – has a sound that reminded me of the music of Matthew Halsall, which is a great recommendation. Like so much other good stuff Jelle Van Giel’s album is available via

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The vocalist Melanie de Blasio was the next Belgian to feature. The tune was from her remix album  with this one remixed by Gilles Peterson/Simbad. This provided a contemporary edgy feel which was continued courtesy of Jachna and Buhl from Poland who use beats but pay a clear respect to Miles.

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An interesting album came to me this week from the David Patrick Octet. It’s a jazz interpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. David Patrick is a pianist who emerged on the Scottish jazz scene in the early 2000s. and he is responsible for the orchestration on the CD which is available via Birnam: The jazz improvisation appears out of the original score and for me it works. I played the Introduction to Act 1 this week and will play more.

The Cosmic Jazz Essential tune this week is probably no surprise to anyone who has been in touch with the programme or with jazz in general this year. It was from the Kamasi Washington’s The Epic.  This triple CD is a must for any collection and it has already reached many judging by the speed with which his concert at the forthcoming London Jazz Festival sold out. The tune I played  Askim has it all – a deep, spiritual piece complete with choir, which gets me every time.

I am still listening to lots of Brazilian music and this week included the trio led by drummer Milton Banana who in a short tune manage to feature a piano solo and intense interplay between drums and bass. Elza Soares also made a welcome return.

To finish with there was more from Ahmad Jamal’s Live in Marciac  which I cannot stop playing.

  1. Jelle Van Giel Group – A New Beginning from Songs for Everyone
  2. Melanie de Blasio – With Love/Sweet Darling Gilles Peterson/Simbad remix from No Deal Remixed.
  3. Jachna and Buhl – Surfer Blues from Synthomatic
  4. David Patrick Octet – Introduction to Act 1: Adoration of the Earth from The Rite of Spring
  5. Kamasi Washington – Askim from The Epic
  6. Milton Banana Trio – Primitivo from Blue Brazil 2
  7. Elza Soares & Miltino – Mal de Amor from Blue Brazil 3
  8. Ahmad Jamal – Autumn Rain from Live in Marciac


Playlist – 07 October 2015: Brasilia!

Click the MixCloud tab to hear a typical Cosmic Jazz programme featuring a variety of jazz and jazz-related styles.

After spending an enjoyable and inspiring weekend at the Flipside Festival at Snape Maltings Suffolk listening to live Latin music and playing records in a marquee with Alex, Russell and Susan I was in the mood for more. As a result, the programme begins with three Brazilian tunes. Firstly, a tune I heard played live over the weekend, Upa Neguinho – but this time from from Luiz Arruida Paes, who was known as the Joe Loss of his generation. For those of you ed motta's record collection 02not old enough to understand this, this is someone making big band orchestrations of well-known hits. Ed Motta followed and as Alex played a tune of his on Sunday afternoon it received rapturous praise from one of the many people who commented positively on our selections. I know Neil is an Ed Motta admirer too.  I am told that Motta, as well as being a distinguished musician, has a huge record collection – good man! [Neil notes: it’s true! Check out the photo above…]. Thirdly came a 1965 classic from Silvio Cezar and Mereilles, featured as a track on one of the excellent Blue Brazil compilations.

I could not resist returning to Ahmad Jamal and the wonderful Live in Marciac. This week featured Dynamo, one of Jamal’s own compositions. It is a strong tune, with Jamal leading the way through bold, strong and loud playing of the piano. Veteran Jamal is now in his mid-eighties but is still showing the way forward. What an incredible atmosphere it must have been at the festival in South-West France on that August evening. Check for yourself in the YouTube clip below of the group playing Blue Moon which I featured on last week’s show.

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We followed this with another live track from a jazz veteran – this time, Azar Lawrence who has four decades of playing behind him including time with Miles Davis in the 1970s. You can hear him on  1970s Milestone albums from McCoy Tyner, Harry Whitaker’s classic Black Renaissance and his own releases.

The Cosmic Jazz Essential this week came from Carmen Lundy, an ever-present voold devil mooncalist on the show. You’re Not In Love from 1997 is simply a wonderful tune sung in a relaxed, calming and sensuous way by Carmen Lundy. The whole presentation is controlled – even, for instance, the flugelhorn solo from Randy Brecker – yet it still possesses depth and meaning. Harry Whitaker played synth and he’ll feature shortly on a CJ Essential tune.

Three contrasting pieces followed from groups led by jazz pianists . Firstly the Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila playing flowing piano runs with his trio from a 2011 recording. He was born in Finland, studied in Brussels and was signed to Warners as a bright prospect until they gave up on jazz. After some time in less prominence he signed to the British jazz record label Edition. Currently, he is the pianist in the group Drifter who have a 2015 release Flow, also released on Edition. Check him out – he’s definitely fast becoming a Cosmic Jazz favourite.

The other two pianists featured are from Poland. Kamil Pietrowicz  featured in a calm, spiritual piece (see YouTube video below) while Pavel Kaczmarczy played in a strong, forthright manner – shades of Ahmad Jamal perhaps?

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Finally, last year saw the release for the first time of the full Saxophonist John Coltranerecording of a concert John Coltrane gave on 11 November 1966 at Temple University Philadelphia in front of 700 people. Offering is the title track of the album. The CD notes record that “it was a ninety minute session of sustained intensity: experimental, frenzied at times, and deeply spiritual”. Coltrane was accompanied by Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Rashied Ali and Sonny Johnson.

  1. Luiz Arruda Paes – Upa Neguinho from Blue Brazil 1
  2. Ed Motta – Ondas Sonoras from AOR
  3. Sivio Cezar & Mereilles – Sambo Do Carioco from Blue Brazil 2
  4. Ahmad Jamal – Dynamo from Live in Marciac
  5. Azar Lawrence – Spirit Night from The Seeker
  6. Carmen Lundy – You’re Not In Love from Old Devil Moon
  7. Alexi Tuomarila Trio – Pearl from Seven Hills
  8. Kamil Pietrowicz – Hymn 1 from Birth
  9. Pavel Kaczmarczy – Something Personal from Something Personal
  10. John Coltrane – Offering from Offering Live at Temple University

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