This week celebrated the release of Spiritual Jazz 5 The World; the latest in a series of releases from Jazzman Records. This edition celebrates Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz from Around the World 1961 – 1979.
The first three tunes played were from Spiritual Jazz 5 and included Fitz Gore from Jamaica, the Paul Winter Sextet from Brasil and Tete Mbambisa from South Africa. Like all the other releases in this series, the latest record is highly recommended to any Cosmic Jazz listener.
If you know listened to music from the Black Jazz Records label you know how good it is. If you have not heard any of the music listen to this week’s show and you will want to hear more. Black Jazz Records was founded in Oakland California in 1969 by pianist Gene Russell and lasted until his death in 1981.
The music combined a political outlook in support of the struggles of Black, urban America and a spiritual feel, with music embracing soul jazz, free jazz and funk. There were the vocalists Jean Carn and Kellee, Paterson, Rudolph Johnson (saxophone), Doug Carn (piano, organ, keyboards), Walter Bishop Jr, (piano), Henry Franklin (bass), Gene Russell (piano, Calvin Keys (guitar), Chester Thompson (organ) and the amazing group The Awakening. Hear music from all of them on this week’s show.
- Henry Franklin – Beauty and the Electric Tub
- Gene Russsell – Black Orchid
- Gene Russell – My Favorite Things
- The Awakening – The Ultimate Frontier
- Doug Carn – Mighty Mighty
- Kellee Patterson – Maiden Voyage
- Cleveland Easton – All Your Love, All Day, All Night
- Rudolph Johnson – Time and Space
- Walter bishop Jr – Blue Bossa
The Cosmic Jazz show is back on Mixcloud and available on this blog. Click the button beside this post or scroll down on your phone or tablet to click the tab.
This show was special because Neil w\as back from Beijing and all the selections were his; some were new, some were old and even included a jazz tune from China. We are having to catch up with our tributes but it was good to hear a tribute to the late Horace Silver.
- Jazzy Jeff – Da Ntro from The Magnificent
- Chinese White Label
- Charles Lloyd – Tribal Dance from Live at the Filmore
- Kurt Elling – My Foolish Heart from Live in Chicago
- Horace Silver – I’ve Had a Little Talk from The United States of Mind
- Eagle-Eye Cherry – Desireless from Desireless
- Steve Coleman & Five Elements – Sinews from Functional Arrythmias
- Charlie Haden & Alice Coltrane – For Turiya from Closeness Duets
- Neil Waldron – Happiness from Moods
- Graham Haynes – RH (For Roy Haynes) from The Griot’s Footsteps
- Jon Hassell – Mombasa from City Works Of Fiction
It is going to be another couple of weeks before new shows will appear but Cosmic Jazz will be back. You can hear a show at 20:00 hrs on Wednesday on IO Radio but for the moment on this site you can still catch up with a couple of previous shows. Neil and Derek will be returning for a new joint show before the end of the month. There will be lots of new music – including some exclusive contemporary jazz from China. You’ll be surprised!
Cosmic Jazz recommends: Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra (and Reggae Ensemble) playing at The Barbican on 187 June 2014. See below for details from The Barbican. Anyone who has seen the Orchestra, and I did in Norwich a few years back, will know this will be an unforgettable experience of musical treasures. There is a YouTube clip below of the Orchestra playing Ghost Town.
Jerry Dammers’ Spatial A.K.A. Orchestra (and Reggae Ensemble) with special guest Cornell Campbell
Fri 18 Jul, Hall
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
The Specials and 2 Tone’s founder Jerry Dammers takes his cosmic jazz orchestra into reggae, ska and rock steady territories, in ’the gig that keeps on giving’ (The Independent).
At its last concert in Berlin the Spatial AKA Orchestra, containing some of the cream of Britain’s jazz players, expanded the scope of its repertoire. The original space sounds, funk jazz and cosmic blues have met strange library music and a strand of what Jerry calls the ‘lost summer’ of reggae, rock steady, ska, and the big band rhythm and blues which gave birth to it. Jerry offers his interpretations of all this music, with arrangements which sometimes salute newer styles such as hip hop, dubstep or drum and bass.
Further info and booking details: http://bit.ly/TJBQL6
IO Radio has moved premises and this has involved a short disruption to the station. A new show should appear during the week beginning 29 June 2014 and for the moment you can still click the Mixcloud button to hear the shows of 4 and 11 June.
If you have followed any part of Cosmic Jazz over recent months you will know that the Swedish saxophonist Fredrik Kronkvist is a great favourite of mine. It was timely, therefore, to receive his new album Reflecting Time from www.stevesjazzsounds.co.uk . This was recorded in Copenhagen after a tour of Sweden with US musicians Aaron Goldberg (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Gregory Hutchinson (drums) who have all played with some of the greatest names in jazz. The tunes on the album are inspired by some other jazz musicians e.g. Mulgrew Miller, Stanley Turrentine (who Fredrik really admires) and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. There is also a version of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood. As the title suggests, the album is reflective, less full-on than some of his other albums but difinitely recommended. I shall play more.
I saw Phronesis recently at the Corn Hall in Diss, a small market town in South Norfolk. To my surprise, especially as I know the town, there was a good crowd, much larger than I expected and definitely appreciative of the music. They played tunes from their latest CD Life To Everything and I played two tunes from it on this show. These two tunes illustrate how Phronesis can play contemporary, tough, loud, urban jazz while at the same time managing to be subtle and controlled. One complaint; £15 for a CD bought at a live event is a bit steep.
I kept in touch with Brazil via the Otis Trio, returned to the wonderful Patrice Rushen, N’Dambi and the album Freedom Jazz France and could not avoid playing something else from the Black Jazz Label.
- Fredrik Kronkvist with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson – Meltdown Blues from Reflecting Time
- Fredrik Kronkvist with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson – Embraced from Reflecting Time
- Phronesis – Urban Control from Life To Everything
- Phronesis – Song For Lost Nomads from Life To Everything
- V.S. Quartet – A Pou Zot from Freedom Jazz France
- Otis Trio – DNN from Club 74
- Gene Russell – Black Orchid from Gilles Peterson’s Black Jazz Radio
- Azar Lawrence – Novo Ono from BGP Presents Jazz Funk
- Patrice Rushen – Jubilation from Prelude
- N’Dambi – Call Me from Tunin’ In and Consignin’
This week I started the show with more from bands seen recently. Phronesis were the latest – seen at an encouragingly well attended gig in Diss as part of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival. There were further tracks from Snarky Puppy and Mike Westbrook, both of whom appeared at the Festival.
There was also a short tribute to percussionist Armando Peraza who died last month. He may not be that well known, but Peraza had an amazing musical career over six decades. Born in Havana, Cuba, he lived on the streets as a boy selling vegetables to earn a living. A chance meeting led to a first professional gif with a local bandleader and he began to make his reputation as a local drummer and dancer. A longtime friend was conga drummer Mongo Santamaria and the two percussionists travelled to New York to find work as musicians. After sitting in with Machito’s big band, Peraza appeared on a record date with Charlie Parker. By the late 1940s, he was appearing on albums by several jazz greats and in the 50s found himself in San Francisco with hipster vocalist Slim Gaillard. Now California-based, Peraza worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon as well as touring extensively in Mexico. He met vibesman Cal Tjader through Dave Brubeck and appeared on the influential album Ritmo Caliente – a hugely successful fusion of jazz and Latin sounds.
Peraza joined pianist George Shearing’s band and became a frontline performer during the mambo craze of the time as well as recording the original version of Afro Blue with friend Mongo Santamaria. He played on the opening night of the Hollywood Bowl and performed as part of Judy Garland’s TV show orchestra in the 1960s.
Back with Cal Tjader he recorded the influential Soul Sauce album and in the late 60s he was the first to add Latin percussion to a rock track, Johnny Mandel’s Cristo Redentor. In 1972 he joined Santana at the height of their most creative period and stayed with the band for nearly 20 years. Peraza was widely regarded as probably the greatest bongocero ever. In 2006 – and at the age of 82 – he returned to performance with Santana, appearing over three nights at the Montreux Jazz Festival. What a life in music!
- Phronesis – Herne Hill from Life To Everything
- Phronesis – Dr. Black from Life To Everything
- Snarky Puppy with Magda Gianikou – Amour T’es La? From Family Dinner Volume One
- Mike Westbrook – Metropolis Part IX from Metropolis
- Zara McFarlane feat. Leron Thomas – Angie La La from If You Knew Her
- E.S.T. – Elevation Of Love from Seven Days Of Falling
- Cal Tjader – Shoshana from Gozame! Pero Ya
- Elements Of Life – This Is Us (Roots Mix) from Eclipse
- Airto Moreira – Flora’s Song from The Best of Airto
Video this week comes from CJ favourites Go Go Penguin (the promo video for the track Hopopono) and – of course – Armando Peraza, here playing a version of Coltrane’s Spiritual with Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter and Patrice Rushen live at Montreux in 1988:
The show this week returned to some artists I have been playing over the last few weeks – but there were also one or two surprises. Click the Mixcloud tab here on the site to listen to the show. Look right alongside the playllst on your computer. If you’re accessing the site from your phone, scroll right down.
I make no apologies for playing more from the excellent Shez Rajah Collective recorded live at The Pizza Express Jazz Club. Shez Rajah plays a tough electric bass and the tune FNUK also features one of the UK’s foremost jazz crowd-pleasers, Gilad Atzmon, on tenor saxophone.
I continued to show another side of Brazilian music from that we normally hear. Bruno E mixed beats, drum ‘n’ bass and jazz sounds on his album Lovely Arthur and there was more from the interesting Otis Trio whose Club 74 album has been released recently on the British specialist Brazilian music label Far Out Recordings.
Eddie Harris is an old favourite of mine. At times, he was maligned by some jazz purists who considered his pioneering of the electric saxophone to be just a gimmick but there is plenty of evidence of his jazz credentials on Set Us Free, recorded with collaborator Les McCann. Check out the YouTube video below of him playing the wonderful Listen Here live at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Some jazz people may be surprised to find the Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin on the playlist but a few weeks ago I heard this tune being played on the streets of Norwich as part of a dance/drama performance. Certainly there is reggae in the song, but there is also jazz there too. For one thing, the excellent Below The Bassline album was released on Island’s Jamaica Jazz offshoot and features Monty Alexander on piano, arguably Jamaica’s greatest jazz artist and Roland Alphonso from The Skatalites on saxophone, who was well schooled in jazz.
I finished with two re-releases: the first one of the Black Jazz label releases that are now available and the second the outstanding Frank Foster album The Loud Minority. Check the Ace Records catalogue for the superb selection of jazz re-releases on their BGP label. The image left shows the original album cover – if you can find it!
As iconic jazz critic Whitney Balliett said in the title of his collection of reviews from the New Yorker magazine, Jazz is the sound of surprise.
- Shez Rajah Collective feat Gilad Atzmon – FNUK from Soho Live
- Bruno E – Arthur Part 2 from Lovely Arthur
- Otis Trio – Tempestade from 74 Club
- Eddie Harris & Les McCann – Set Us Free from Second Movement
- Ernest Ranglin – Surfin from Below The Bassline
- Walter Bishop Jr. – Those Who Chant from Theo Parrish’s Black Jazz Signature
- Frank Foster – The Loud Minority from The Loud Minority
Listen to this week’s show of contemporary jazz via the Mixcloud button which is either at the side of this blog or further down on your phone.
A show of exciting, contemporary jazz returned to a solo presentation by Derek, with Neil back in Beijing. Neil was not, however, forgotten as tunes he left behind were given an airing.
The Takuya Kuroda version of the Roy Ayers tune Everybody Loves The Sunshine was given a full play this time, unlike a previous slot at the end of the programme when it had to be cut. We also played again the limpid beauty of Ambrose Akinmusire’s trumpet playing on the In a Silent Way-like The Beauty Of Dissolving Portraits.
Two weeks back, I saw Snarky Puppy at The Norfolk & Norwich Festival. They are brilliant live and on that occasion managed to keep a packed hall of dancers – ranging in age from mid-teens to pensioners – on their feet all night. If you get the chance to see them live you must go. On a record I am not sure that their mix of funk, soul, jazz and rock is quite so convincing, but the tune I played with Lalah Hathaway on vocals from their Family Dinner Vol. 1 is amazing. Check out this tune on YouTube here.
The Otis Trio confound any stereotypes of what constitutes Brazilian music that might be emerging so far in these pre-World Cup days. Their new CD 74 Club is released on the UK Far Out label.
Yet again, I returned to examples of the wide range of Scandinavian music available from www.stevesjazzsounds.co.uk Any Cosmic Jazz regular will know that I love anything by Fredrik Kronkvist, and you can see why from the YouTube clips under the playlist below. This week there were further gems from the drummer Matt Jorgensen, and the pianists Stefan Wingfors and Anders Persson, the latter with his band Personkrets Ii-V-I.
- Fredrik Kronkvist – Volcano from The Constant Continuum
- Otis Trio – Otis Naru from 74 Club
- Tukuya Kuroda – Everybody Loves The Sunshine from Rising Son
- Ambrose Akinmusire – The Beauty Of Dissolving Portraits from The Imagined Savior Is far Easier To Paint
- Snarky Puppy feat Lalah Hathaway – Someone from Family Dinner Vol. 1
- Zara McFarlane – Woman In The Olive Groves from If You Knew Her
- Matt Jorgensen + 451 – Power To The People from Another Morning
- Stefan Wingfors – Ganglion from Impermanence
- Personkrets Ii-V-I – Masterpiece from Ten Small Masterpieces