Click the Mix Cloud tab to hear an eclectic mix of jazz and jazz-related music in this week’s Cosmic Jazz show.
Often, the selection of music reflects what we have seen or been listening to in the week between shows. I have been dusting up and playing my music from the Japanese group Sleepwalker, sadly, no longer together. I saw them perform on two occasions at London’s Jazz Café and one of the enduring memories was the grandiloquent and enticing entry down the staircase of Bembe Segue and her vocals on the tune Into The Sun. What better way to start a show? You can also check it out on the YouTube clip below.
I have just seen Philip Cohran’s sons in the form of The Hypnotic Brass Band play at Norwich Arts Centre. It sent me go back to their father, an eminent jazz musician, who played with Sun Ra.
There was more music from Steve’s Jazz Sounds. This time it was the Swedish Saxophonist Jonas Kulhammar with two tunes to reflect European cities from his record Gentlemen (original Motion Picture). His group includes the excellent Polish musician Goran Kafjes on cornet, who we have heard on Cosmic Jazz. Jonas Kulhammar has played with the likes of Chick Corea, Jason Moran and Carlos Garnett. This prompted the selection of a Carlos Garnett tune from his Journey to Enlightenment record that was re-released in 2014 by Soul Brother Records.
As ever, there was space for musicians/groups with a Latin connection. Da Lata are a British-based example, although on this occasion sounding more West African. Grupo Medusa is an example of Brazilian percussive fusion from 1983. Marcos Valle is simply one of the Brazilian greats.
- Sleepwalker feat. Bembe Segue – Into The Sun from The Voyage
- Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – New Frankiphone Blues from On The Beach
- Da Lata feat Luisa Maita – Um Amor Mais – from Fabiola
- Grupo Medusa – Ferrovias from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection Volume 2
- Jonas Kulhammar – Copenhagen from Gentleem (The Original MotionPicture).
- Jonas Kulhammar – Paris from as above
- Carlos Garnett – Let Us Go To Higher Heights from Journey to Enlightenment
- Marcos Valle – Aqua De Coco from Brazilian Love Affair 5
Click the Mix Cloud tab on this page to hear some new jazz, including from artists you may not have heard of before.
This week’s show began with some fierce blowing from a band with two sax players; band leader George Garzone accompanied by Jerry Bergonzi from the album Quintonic. Both are Boston USA born musicians, both are tutors at the Berklee School of Music and both have played with outstanding jazzmen. Garzone with Jack de Johnette, George Russell and Joe Lovano and Bergonzi with Dave Brubeck. More that that, their former students at Berklee include Joshua Redman and Mark Turner. The rest of the band comprises from Denmark Carl Winther on piano and Anders Mogensen on drums, and from Finland Johnny Aman. This is another highly recommended record available from www.stevesjazzsounds.co.uk
Carmen Lundy is a long-established Cosmic Jazz favourite. Her new album Soul to Soul does not disappoint. There is more of a nod towards soul than jazz compared to previous albums but this seems to only enhance the emotional intensity. On the two tunes this week she is accompanied by Patrice Rushen, of Forget Me Nots fame on piano. Rushen is, of course, a distinguished jazz musician in her own right having played with Joe Henderson and Herbie Hancock among others. Elsewhere on the album Geri Allen plays piano, Randy Brecker is there on trumpet and flugelhorn and Bennie Maupin pops up on tenor and alto saxophone. It’s an impressive line-up.
The list of exciting piano trios that we seem to come across these days seems endless and this week, again courtesy of Steve’s Jazz Sounds, we present the stunning Michael Wroblewski Trio from Poland with two tunes from their album Warsaw Blues. Check them out. You can catch the trio below via YouTube playing with Terence Blanchard.
There was another tune from Norwich-based Mammal Hands and I also managed to slip in a Brazilian touch again this week from the Gilles Peterson directed Sonzeira album.
But the inclusion that might surprise some is that of Jarrod Lawson. His eponymous release on Dome Records – a soul/R’n’B label – is a current favourite of mine and one I picked up through his championing by Echoes, the monthly black music magazine produced in the UK. Jarrod Lawson is not strictly jazz, but he is also not strictly soul or R’n’B. He is made up of all of these categories. A sold-out night of two performances at Ronnie Scott’s this year is a sign that there is much for open-minded jazz fans to enjoy. Take a listen – it is truly in the spirit of our Cosmic Jazz playlists. The YouTube clip below of Jarrod Lawson also features trumpeter Farrnell Newton who played with him at Ronnie Scott’s.
- George Garzone – Gorgonzola from Quintonic
- George Garzone – The Gargoyle Returns from Quintonic
- Carmen Lundy – Kindred Spirits from Soul to Soul
- Carmen Lundy – Soul to Soul from Soul to Soul
- Jarrod Lawson – All That Surrounds from Jarrod Lawson
- Jarrod Lawson – Redemption from Jarrod Lawson
- Michael Wroblewski Trio – Warsaw Blues from City Album
- Michael Wroblewski Trio – Subway from City Album
- Sonzeira – Xibaba (She-Ba-Ba) from Brasil Bam Bam Bam
- Mammal Hands – Tiny Crumbs from Animalia
A show of old favourites which is something we do on Cosmic Jazz from time to time.
You may go far these days to hear a show that has tunes from John Coltrane and Miles Davis following each other. What’s more, we also featured Gary Bartz, the subject of our YouTube clip this week and veteran jazz performers Abdullah Ibrahim and Charles Lloyd – in recognition of their recent appearances at this year’s London Jazz Festival. The excellent Patrice Rushen returned – and you’ll hear more from her soon on the new Carmen Lundy album Soul to Soul. There was also a classic Brazilian track from Lo Borges – the timeless Tode Que Voce Podia Ser (roughly translated as “everything you could be”).
Neil notes: This beautiful lyric also features on a Brazilian record everyone should own – the magnificent Clube da Esquina, a collaboration between Lo Borges and his longtime friend Milton Nascimento. A classic double LP recorded in 1972, the album has orchestrations from Eumir Deodato and Wagner Tiso. The arrangements are to die for and the melodies of some tracks will stay with you forever. Cravo e Canela, the aforementioned Tode Que Voce Podia Ser and San Vincente together with the sublime Clube da Esquina No.2 are all stand out tracks. The last of these features Milton Nascimento’s unique falsetto vocals and – incidentally – the tune was also recorded for Nascimento’s solo album Angelus in a possibly even more breathtaking version.
- Patrice Rushen – Sortie’s Portion from Prelusion
- Marcus Ariel – Samba Torto from Music for Jazz Dancers
- Lo Borges – Tode Que Voce Podia Ser from Blue Brazil 1
- Abdullah Ibrahim – Whoza Mtwana from African Marketplace
- Charles Lloyd Quartet – Bird Flight from Dream Weaver
- Gary Bartz – The Warrior’s Song from I’ve Known Rivers
- Miles Davis – It’s About Time/ The Theme from Bitches Brew Live
- John Coltrane Song of the Underground Railroad from The Complete Africa Brass Sessions
Click the MixCloud tab to hear this week’s programme of music from 2014.
The modal music of Matthew Halsall deserved another play. His new album with the Gondwana Orchestra (When The World Was One) maintains the high standards that he has set already on previous records. This week, there was time to play both tunes in full and they provided the perfect calm, depth and spirituality to set up the rest of the programme.
Polish jazz featured again courtesy of Steve’s Jazz Sounds, and deserves attention. There was new music from the saxophonist Przemyslaw Florcak and his Quartet from their album Image of my Personality. Moreover, there was another excellent track Ordovician from the album Cat’s Dream by Rafael Sarnecki. He’s a guitarist with a degree in physics, born in Warsaw but now living in Brooklyn. He plays with fine, young New York musicians and I love the way the almost Brazilian-sounding vocals of Bogna Kicinska are intertwined into the playing. The mix was by Dave Darlington who has worked with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.
There was more UK music of 2014 from the album Animalia by Mammal Hands, an original trio of drums/percussion, sax and piano from up the road in Norwich. They draw on influences from Steve Reich to Bonobo and Pharoah Sanders to the Cinematic Orchestra, alongside elements of North Indian and African music and have been signed to Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Records. Phronesis we love on Cosmic Jazz – see them live if you can.
Finally, there was another tune from the young band leader Samuel Prather. I love the music but my Cosmic Jazz partner, who returns in December, may need some persuasion about this!
- Matthew Halsall – When the World Was One from When the World Was One
- Matthew Halsall – Falling Water from When the World Was One
- Przemyslaw Florcak Quartet – Groove By Choice from Image of my Personality
- Przemyslaw Florcak Quartet – Squiggle from as above
- Rafael Sarnecki – Ordovician from Cat’s Dream
- Phronesis – Urban Control from Life to Everything
- Mammal Hands – Bustle from Animalia
- Samuel Prather – Uncontainable from Groove
More Polish jazz this week from: www.stevesjazzsounds.co.uk. Rafal Sarnecki is a guitarist with an album recorded with New York musicians. Check the YouTube clip below. I can only guess from the title that Szyman Lukowski and his Quintet are paying homage to Bill Evans.
Cosmic Jazz favourites Charles Lloyd and Gato Barbieri returned with long, engrossing, deep and powerful tunes. This is truly music for the body and the spirit. The Brazilian touch this week came via Kathryn Moses from the excellent Private Collection Volume 2 compiled by jazz-dance DJ Kev Beadle. Meanwhile, Matthew Halsall and his Gondwana Orchestra is music that must be heard. I will continue to play tunes from When The World Was One. Better still, get a copy for yourself.
- Rafal Sarnecki – Sueno de Gatos from Cat’s Dream
- Rafal Sarnecki – Piazza Verdi from Cat’s Dream
- Szyman Lukowski Quintet – Ballada dla Billy Evansa from Szyman Lukowski Quintet
- Charles Lloyd – Dream Weaver from Dream Weaver
- Gato Barbieri – Encontros from Chapter One: Latin America
- Kathryn Moses – Music In My Head from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection Volume 2
- Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra – Falling Water from When The World Was One
Listen to Cosmic Jazz this week for a combination of new and classic sounds.
There was a link to the previous week’s show through the jazz/hip-hop opener followed by the excellent Norwich group Mammal Hands. Lucky Novak from Norway continued from where I left off two weeks ago.
The Soul Brother Records re-releases from Carlos Garnett and Walter Bishop Jr featured again; this time with Carlos Garnett offering the Caribbean connection. The vocal on this particular tune was not a strong point but both albums are highly recommended additions to what seems to be an ever-increasing supply of re-releases from the 1970s.
The jazz-dance DJ Kev Beadle has now released Volume Two of his Private Collection. In my opinion, overall, it is stronger than Volume One. Certainly jazz is a much stronger element. The Chico Freeman tune had an all-star line-up including Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Hutcherson, Paulinho da Costa and Cecil McBee – jazz dance to perfection. The contribution from The Janet Lawson Quintet was also a strong dance floor tune with a Brazilian sensibility.
It was a pleasure to be able to play, at last, something from the new Matthew Halsall album When the World Was One. The music of Manchester-based trumpeter Matthew Halsall fits perfectly with what we perceive to be Cosmic Jazz. I saw him in north Suffolk about a couple of years ago. It was a memorable night. See his band if you can. Moreover, his label Gondwana Records is supporting other young artists such as Mammal Hands played on this show and Go Go Penguin who we have also featured. If you want to know what some of his influences are then look no further than the title of one of the tunes played this week: Tribute To Alice Coltrane
- Guru – Intro from Jazzamataz
- Mammal Hands – Inuit Party from Animalia
- Lucky Novak – The Truth And Nothing But The Battered Truth from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
- Chico Freeman – Wilpan’s Walk from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection Volume 2
- The Janet Lawson Quintet – Breams Can Be from Kev Beadle as above
- Carlos Garnett – Caribbean Inn from Journey to Enlightenment
- Walter Bishop Jr. – Philadelphia Bright from Journey to Enlightenment
- Matthew Halsall – When the World Was One from When the World Was One
- Matthew Halsall – Tribute To Alice Coltrane from as above
Click the Mixcloud tab to hear this week’s show: Cosmic Jazz with a difference, music which our blog creator Jacob brought in with him from Norwich.
It is not that often that we hear Mos Def but there he was starting off the show. You could be forgiven for not expecting to see listed on the show’s playlist a band with the name of Obama and The Yes We Can Latin Gunk Express. Fear not, they provided a spirited and fascinating adaptation ofSam and Dave’s Hold On I’m Comin’.
There were still some old Cosmic Jazz favourites but special mention this week must go to Mammal Hands from Norwich, who we played for the first time. We strongly recommend their new album Animalia released on Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana label and their line-up of piano, drums and bass challenges the usual notion of the jazz trio. Mammal Hands provide music that is spiritual, cosmic, uplifting and innovative; seek it out and check the video below.
The final Norwich connection was about a band due to play at the Norwich Arts Centre on Monday 8 December. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a group comprising sons of Philip Cohran, a Cosmic Jazz favorite in his own right but also once a member of Sun Ra’s band. The Brass Ensemble will definitely provide a night to remember. If you are in the area, see you there!
- Mos Def – May-December
- Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Touch The Sky
- Mammal Hands – Kandaiki
- Mammal Hands – Tiny Crumb
- Obama and the Yes We Can Latin Gunk Express – Hold On (Crackle and Pop Re-edit)
- Kenichiro Nishihara – Nebulosa
- Shaolin Afronauts – Winds Across Gyanamede
- Somi – Wise
- Samuel Prather – Carnival di Panama
- Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Black Boy
- Samon Kawamura – U Nu
- Rosa Passos – Wave
Cosmic Jazz continued its worldwide coverage this week with music from Norway and Brazil as well as some classic USA jazz.
The Norwegian segment began with the wonderful, atmospheric Eple Trio that we have been playing on the programme but then moved on to work produced in Norway by British alto saxophonist Tim Lowerson and Norwegian bassist Ture Ringereide. This included a tune from their first band Sounds of the Unexpected recorded in 2009 followed by two tracks from their new jazz quartet Lucky Novak. Apparently, one critic claimed Lucky Novak was the sound of a garage band playing Sun Ra. Judge for yourself! The band themselves do claim Sun Ra as an influence but also name Ornette Coleman, Duane Eddy, Get the Blessing, The Libertines and Captain Beefheart. Does this sound interesting? Well, I think so. The music is eclectic, unpredictable and gives the impression the musicians had a good time as they recorded the album over two days in a wooden house in Oslo. Check the YouTube clip below and you can find out more at www.luckynovak.com
The remainder of the programme provided a musical contrast. I continued to catch up with two outstanding Soul Brother Records re-releases from Carlos Garnett and Walter Bishop Jr. I remained true to my word regarding Brazilian music by playing The Tamba Trio who provided the version of Mas Que Nada that appeared as a sound track to an advertisement featuring Brazilian footballers maybe two World Cups ago. This week I played a live recording of O Morro Nao Tem Vez that definitely showed off the Trio’s jazz credentials.
Each year Cosmic Jazz tries to acknowledge Black History Month in October. What better way than to end the show with Driva’ Man from Max Roach with Abbey Lincoln on vocals?
- Eple Trio – Tipple’s Insomnia from Universal Cycle
- Sounds Of The Unexpected – Diskoklezmer from Sounds Of The Unexpected
- Lucky Novak – Punch Drunk from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
- Lucky Novak – Song From The North Pole from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
- Carlos Garnett – Love Flower from Journey To Enlightenment
- Walter Bishop Jr. – Sweet Rosa from Soul Village
- Tamba Trio – O Morro Nao Tem Vez from Tamba Trio Classics
- Max Roach – Driva’ Man from We Insist Freedom Now Suite
The programme this week was inspired by the recent Brazilian Flipside Festival at Snape Maltings in Suffolk UK. This reminded me of the rich variety of the music from Brazil and the links much of it has to jazz. So it was time for a programme of Brazilian music and a commitment to play more in future weeks. Click the MixCloud button and sample the treats for yourself!
I could not resist playing again three of my all-time favourite Brazilian classics from Lo Borges, Joyce (see the YouTube video below) and Tenorio Jr. The last two would feature in any list of my favourite tunes of all time. The version of Ain’t No Sunshine by the accordionist and guitarist Sivuca would rate pretty highly for me too.
Milton Nascimento had jazz greats Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock on board as guests on his Milton album, from which I played Saudas e Baudeiras. Contemporary jazz was represented by the Otis Trio from their 2014 release 74 Club and a tune from the excellent Lovely Arthur album by Bruno E.
Airto Moreira has appeared as a drummer/percussionist on hundreds of records of many famous jazz artists. The ending of his Celebration Suite will be familiar to many people – I just wish it went on longer.
DJ Gilles Peterson appeared at Flipside and it felt time to play something from Sonzeira Bam Bam Bam, an inspiring and varied selection of Brazilian tunes featuring guest vocalists, young and old, backed by a group of creative and skilful musicians assembled in Rio. Aquarela do Brasil (Watercolour of Brazil to correct what I said on the programme) was composed by Ary Barroso in 1939 and has become almost a national anthem of Brazil. On Sonzeira it is sung by the 77 year old Brazilian Elza Soares, one of the top Brazilian vocalists of all time.
If you want to get hold of some of this and other Brazilian music there are three British labels: Far Out, Mr. Bongo and Soul Jazz Records who can supply you with all your wants and needs.
- Paulinho da Costa – Taj Mahal from BGP Presents Jazz Funk
- Milton Nascimento – Saidas e Baudeiras from Milton
- Lo Borges – Tudo Que Voce Podia from Blue Brazil I
- Joyce – Aldeia do Ogum from Samba Jazz and Outras Bossas
- Tenorio Jr. – Nebulosa from Brazilian Beats I
- Bruno E – Esperanca (for Silvia) from Lovely Arthur
- Otis Trio – Tempestade from Club 74
- Sonzeira feat Elza Soares – Aquarela do Brasil from Sonzeira Bam Bam Bam
- Sivuca – Ain’t No Sunshine from London Jazz Classics 2
- Airto Moreira – Celebration Suite from Brazilian Beats I
- Mandrake Som – Berimbau from Blue Brazil I
- Quarteto Novo – Fica Mal Com Deus from Bossa Jazz
Click that MixCloud button on this site to hear some exciting jazz sounds old and new in Cosmic Jazz this week.
Cosmic Jazz wants to spread the word about two artists who may not be known to many jazz listeners. The first is Samuel Prather, a keyboard player and band leader from Washington DC. His Groove Orchestra (and it is an orchestra not a small group) pump out some invigorating up-tempo jazz and on Blues For Clyde you can hear Samuel Prather vigorously leading and conducting them. The tune Fela Snarky directs us to some of his important influences – pretty good choices we think.
You can often get an indication of how good an artist and the esteem in which they are held by their choice of guests. Somi by these standards looks pretty good. Brown Round Things includes a guest appearance from Ambrose Akinmusire – one of the hottest young trumpeters in the USA. Lady Revisited is a re-working of Fela’s (that man again!) Lady.The guest this time is the widely travelled and recorded Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo. Somi’s album The Lagos Music Salon is the outcome of her residences in Lagos, from which she used the sights, sounds and people she met as an inspiration and guidance for her music. It is a subtle, carefully crafted full album of pleasant surprises. I love it!
There was a first Cosmic Jazz play for two strong recent Soul Brother Records re-releases: Carlos Garnett’s Journey to Enlightenment and Walter Bishop Jr’s Soul Village. This week’s excursion into the recent Spiritual Jazz V release took us to Sierra Leone. I cannot resist going back to the BGP re-release of Frank Foster’s Loud Minority and among all this was the quirky Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce and the title track of his album Complicated Day.
- Samuel Prather Groove Orchestra – Blues For Clyde from Groove Orchestra
- Samuel Prather Groove orchestra – Fela Snarky from Groove Orchestra
- Somi – Brown Round Things from the Lagos Music Salon
- Somi feat Angelique Kidjo – Lady Revisited from the Lagos Music Salon
- Carlos Garmett – Journey To Enlightenment from Journey to Enlightenment
- Walter Bishop Jr – Soul Village from Soul Village
- Amadou Jarr – Kuthung Geng from Spiritual Jazz V
- Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce – Complicated Day from Complicated Day
- Frank Foster – JP’s Thing from Loud Minority