Play List – 19 November 2014

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 is 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.

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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 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.

  1. Matthew Halsall – When The World Was One from When the World was One
  2. Matthew Halsall – Falling Water from as above
  3. Przemyslaw Florcak Quartet – Groove By Choice from Image of my Personality
  4. Przemyslaw Florcak Quartet – Squiggle from as above
  5. Rafael Sarnecki – Ordovician from Cat’s Dream
  6. Phronesis – Urban Control from Life to Everything
  7. Mammal Hands – Bustle from Animalia
  8. Samuel Prather – Uncontainable  from Groove

Play List 12 November 2014

More Polish jazz this week from:  Rafal Sarnecki is a guitarist with an album recorded with New York musicians. Check the You Tube clip below. I can only guess from the title that Szymaan Lukowski and his Quintet are paying homage to Bill Evans.

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Cosmic Jazz favourites Charles Lloyd and Gato Barbieri returned with long, engrossing, deep and powerful tunes; 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.

Matthew Halsall & his Gondwana Orchestra is music that must be heard. I will continue to play tunes frpm When The World Was One. Better still, get a copy for yourself.

  1. Rafal Sarnecki – Sueno de Gatos from Cat’s Dream

2.  Rafal Sarnecki – Piazza Verdi from Cat’s Dream

3.   Szyman Lukowski Quintet – Ballada dla Billy Evansa from                    SzymanLukowski Quintet

4. Charles Lloyd – Dream Weaver from Dream Weaver

5. Gato Barbieri – Encontros from Chapter One: Latin America

6. Kathryn Moses – Music In My Head from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection Volume 2

7. Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra – Falling Water from    When The World Was One

Play List – 5 November 2014

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

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  1. Guru – Intro from Jazzamataz
  2. Mammal Hands – Inuit Party from Animalia
  3. Lucky Novak – The Truth And Nothing But The Battered Truth from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
  4. Chico Freeman – Wilpan’s Walk from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection Volume 2
  5. The Janet Lawson Quintet – Breams Can Be from Kev Beadle as above
  6. Carlos Garnett – Caribbean Inn from Journey to Enlightenment
  7. Walter Bishop Jr. – Philadelphia Bright from Journey to Enlightenment
  8. Matthew Halsall – When The World Was One from When the World Was One
  9. Matthew Halsall – Tribute To Alice Coltrane from as above

Play List – 29 October 2014; Cosmic Jazz in a different groove

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 play list 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.

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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!

  1. Mos Def – May-December
  2. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Touch The Sky
  3. Mammal Hands – Kandaiki
  4. Mammal Hands – Tiny Crumb
  5. Obama and the Yes We Can Latin Gunk Express – Hold On (Crackle and Pop Re-edit)
  6. Kenichiro Nishihara – Nebulosa
  7. Shaolin Afronauts – Winds Across Gyanamede
  8. Somi – Wise
  9. Samuel Prather – Carnival di Panama
  10. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Black Boy
  11. Samon Kawamura – U Nu
  12. Rosa Passos – Wave

Play List – 22 October 2014

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 but then 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

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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 advert involving 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?

  1. Eple Trio – Tipple’s Insomnia from Universal Cycle
  2. Sounds Of The Unexpected – Diskoklezmer from Sounds Of The Unexpected
  3. Lucky Novak – Punch Drunk from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
  4. Lucky Novak – Song From The North Pole from The Lucky Novak Syndrome
  5. Carlos Garnett – Love Flower from Journey To Enlightenment
  6. Walter Bishop Jr. – Sweet Rosa from Soul Village
  7. Tamba Trio – O Morro Nao Tem Vez from Tamba Trio Classics
  8. Max Roach – Driva’ Man from We Insist Freedom Now Suite

Playlist – 15 October 2014: Brasil, Brasil

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.

  1. Paulinho da Costa – Taj Mahal from BGP Presents Jazz Funk
  2. Milton Nascimento – Saidas e Baudeiras from Milton
  3. Lo Borges – Tudo Que Voce Podia from Blue Brazil I
  4. Joyce – Aldeia do Ogum from Samba Jazz and Outras Bossas
  5. Tenorio Jr. – Nebulosa from Brazilian Beats I
  6. Bruno E – Esperanca (for Silvia) from Lovely Arthur
  7. Otis Trio – Tempestade from Club 74
  8. Sonzeira feat Elza Soares – Aquarela do Brasil from Sonzeira  Bam Bam Bam
  9. Sivuca – Ain’t No Sunshine from London Jazz Classics 2
  10.  Airto Moreira – Celebration Suite from Brazilian Beats I
  11. Mandrake Som – Berimbau from Blue Brazil I
  12. Quarteto Novo – Fica Mal Com Deus from Bossa Jazz
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Playlist – 08 October 2014: some new discoveries

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.

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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!

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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 VillageThis 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.

  1. Samuel Prather Groove Orchestra – Blues For Clyde from Groove Orchestra
  2. Samuel Prather Groove orchestra – Fela Snarky from Groove Orchestra
  3. Somi – Brown Round Things from the Lagos Music Salon
  4. Somi feat Angelique Kidjo – Lady Revisited from the Lagos Music Salon
  5. Carlos Garmett – Journey To Enlightenment from Journey to Enlightenment
  6. Walter Bishop Jr – Soul Village from Soul Village
  7. Amadou Jarr – Kuthung Geng from Spiritual Jazz V
  8. Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce – Complicated Day from Complicated Day
  9. Frank Foster – JP’s Thing from Loud Minority

Flipside Festival – when Brazil came to Suffolk

The weekend of 3-5 October saw an amazing Brazilian festival of dance, art, food, literature and music at Snape Maltings in Suffolk. Cosmic Jazz followed the music and found so much to enjoy and dance to.

What an opening night. The London-based Brazilian band Da Lata started off the  party. The band started by guitarist Chris Franck and former Suffolk school pupil and DJ Patrick Forge a0861687454_2now have two excellent albums Fabiola and Songs From The Tin that have been played on Cosmic Jazz. Look out for the forthcoming digital release that will include an excellent live version of the Brazilian classic Ronco da Cuica. 

The band have an engaging, inspiring and joyful vocalist up front in Jandira Silva and some outstanding musicians. What a treat it was to see the excellent jazz sax and flute player Finn Peters, and a special mention must go to percussionist Carl Smith who managed to play on while his congas collapsed around him.

Their music combined the more gently rhythmic at the start of the set  and led up to a storming finish.  Perhaps it was too early in the evening, or maybe those unfamiliar with the range of Brazilian music do not appreciate that it is often gentle and complex and not all barnstorming samba., but it took a tune or two to fill the dancefloor and then it was wild. The climax of the set was the Da Lata composition Pra Manha, a tune that has helped me to fill dancefloors and the encore was the irresistible Joao Bosco tune Ronco Da Cuica. Check their live YouTube recording of this. Feedback from the band indicates they enjoyed the evening, so did the crowd; see them if you can.

Gilles Peterson followed with a Brazilian DJ set.  This combined a range of Brazilian styles from forro to funk to hip hop to  samba, to a taste of Airto Moreira’s Celebration Suite to tunes fro the excellent album Sonzeira BrasilBam Bam Bam that he has produced with sonzeira_070714Brazilian musicians young and old and released on his Brownswood record label. With long-term associate Earl Zinger adding to the mixing and contributing vocals and melodica playing it was a set that set the Snape  Maltings Studio partying and moving in a way it has probably rarely seen before.

Bebel Gilberto, a Brazilian superstar who divides her time between Rio and New York, performed in the Concert Hall on the Saturday night. She has recently released a new album Tudo, her first in five years. Much of the set based on these new tunes but there were a few moments from her mega-selling Tant Tempo, although not the dancefloor filler Close Your Eyes. A shame really, too much of the lounge-style music does not always work in a concert hall setting. The backing musicians were excellent but could have been given scope to show off their skills; I longed for a solo or two from them.

On top of all this, there was an outside stage om Saturday and Sunday with forro and choro bands and the gently uplifting Amarea Trio with Malick Mbengue added on percussion and some lovely vocals from Daida Carbonell who had flown in from Barcelona for the weekend. If you add to this the drumming and forro , choro and capoiera workshops and the wonderful spontaneous capoeira performances it was a weekend to remember.

Look out for the festival to return next year. We will keep you posted on Cosmic Jazz.



Playlist – 01 October 2014: Jazz in Many Forms

If you listen to this week’s Cosmic Jazz you could be surprised by the wide and eclectic range of sounds that you hear. The crooning falsetto voice of Jimmy Scott and the laidback lounge beach style of The Girl From Ipanema may well appear to occupy a different planet to the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra.  Is this an example of another implausible and crazy Cosmic Jazz play list or is it an illustration of the wide and inclusive tent that some of us classify as jazz or jazz-related music? You can decide for yourself. Perhaps the two YouTube clips below will help you….

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In making the selections this week I could see a purpose for all the tunes that I played. After last week I wanted to hear more of the beautiful, soothing, yet challenging music of the Eple Trio from Norway whose music has reached us recently from Steve’s Jazz Sounds.

Bebel Gilberto was included as a final reminder that she is performing at the weekend- long Flipside Brazilian Festival at Snape Maltings in Suffolk on Saturday 4 October. She is currently touring the UK. So, if you play Bebel why not play a tune featuring her father Joao as well?

Last week we had a blend of jazz and Indian raga from Louis Banks and this week we had more of this blend from one of his band members Braz Gonsalves. Both tunes can be found on Spiritual Jazz V from Jazzman records.

Jimmy Scott was played for the first time on Cosmic Jazz, as a belated acknowledgement of his work, on a record produced under the guidance of Ray Charles. He died in June 2014 and we had not celebrated his work. The unique falsetto sound may sound too light for many jazz fans. Stay with it, his music can become an acquired taste.

I could not resist a replay for Ramblin’ with those Charlie Haden basslines and to hear more from Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra with its fierce statement on War Orphans. An impressive celebration of the contrasting work he produced during his long professional career.

The final two selections came from artists that may be unfamiliar to many jazz aficionados.  Somi may invoke the Is It Jazz? response but she is fine by me and her album The Lagos Music Salon is one of my favourites from 2014. Samuel Prather is an exciting, new, young jazz talent. There will be more from both of them next week.

  1. Eple Trio –  One Elephant from Universal Cycle
  2. Eple Trio –  In Our Home Where We Live from Universal Cycle
  3. Bebel Gilberto – So Nice (Summer Samba) from Tanto Tempo
  4. Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto – Girl From Ipanema from Gitanes Jazz
  5. The Braz Gonsalves Seven –  Raga Rock from Spiritual Jazz V
  6. Jimmy Scott –  They Say Its Wonderful from Falling In Love Is Wonderful
  7. Ornette Coleman -  Ramblin’ from Change Of The Century
  8. Charlie Haden –  War Orphans from Liberation Music Orchestra
  9. Somi –  Akobi: First Born S(u)n from The Lagos Music Salon
  10. Samuel Prather  –  Blues For Clyde from Groove Orchestra

Playlist – 24 September 2014

Cosmic Jazz Playlist – 24 September 2014

The  Cosmic Jazz show this week came in pairs of tunes covering differing styles from across the planet.

I wanted to publicise the Flipside Festival which takes place from 3–5 October at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, a venue which is usually associated with the music of Benjamin Britten but which for this weekend will feature Brazilian beats, dance workshops, literature and political discussion.

On Friday 3 October Da Lata and Gilles Peterson will be there for a launch  party and on the Saturday evening Bebel Gilberto will perform. Both Da Lata and Bebel Gilberto featured in this week’s show. See the YouTube clip below of Da Lata performing the Brazilian classic Rondo Da Cuica and you will want to be there. On the Saturday and Sunday there are outside daytime performances featuring differing styles of Brazilian music.

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There were a pair of tunes from the Szymon Lukpwski Quintet from Poland and from  the  Eple Trio who perform atmospheric, contemplative and entrancing music, evocative of their native Norway. Both these CDs are among the latest music available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds , see the link here on the Cosmic Jazz site.

There were two more tracks from the Spiritual Jazz V compilation. This week I played Louis Banks, an Indian jazz musician who gained inspiration from the Voice Of America jazz show back in the 1970s and played jazz with a distinctly Indian feel and The London Experimental Jazz Quintet, from London Ontario, not London UK.

The show ended with a belated celebration of the life of Charlie Haden. He played the strong and catchy basslines on Ornette Coleman’s Ramblin’ back in the 1950s and those basslines later became an isnpiration for Ian Dury’s Sex And Drugs And Rock’n’Roll. There was also a tune from Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. At least one of these tunes may well get a repeat in next week’s show.

  1. Szymon Lukowski QuintetTo Blues Or Not To Blues From Szymon Lukowski Quintet
  2. Szymon Lukowski Quintet – Autumn Ana from as above
  3. Eple Trio – Setting Foot On Another Planet from Universal Cycle
  4. Eple Trio – Morning Stillness, Crisp Air from as above
  5. Louiz Banks – Song For My Lady from Spiritual Jazz V
  6. The London Experimental Jazz Quintet – Destroy The Nihilistic Picnic from Spiritual Jazz V
  7. Da Lata – Ronda Fa Cuica from Fabiolo
  8. Bebel Gilberto – Bananeira from Tanto Tempo
  9. Ornette Coleman – Ramblin’ from Change Of The Century
  10. Charlie Haden – ’68 ’69 from Liberation Music Orchestra

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