14 June 2017: in a silent way?

Silence is golden, except on a radio show. There is a silence in this show, albeit a short one towards the end. It’s ironic really as I was about to play a tune called He Who Talks Loud Says Nothing… Suffice to say no more than such problems are usually the result of the user rather than the equipment – sorry.  Do listen, though, to the show via the MixCloud tab (left) as there are some great tunes either side of the silence.

The aforementioned He Who Talks Loud Says Nothing did get played – and it is worth hearing. It’s by Polish trumpet/flugelhorn player Lukasz Korybalski from his remarkably mature debut album CMM released this year. It has been described as providing a musical journey into something like a trance. Certainly it has a very warm and inviting feel to it. There are lovely solos, but they are woven almost into the music  – and the backing throughout of drummer Lukasz Zyta is intricate and complex but in an understated way.

As so often on the programme, the show began with a tune that I had recently played and enjoyed. Cosmic Jazz seems to be going through yet another John Coltrane appreciation phase and why should I make apologies for that? 14 minutes and 09 seconds of India recorded live at the Village Vanguard on 03 November 1961, from the Impressions album was just such a perfect spiritual and uplifting way to begin. Coltrane was on soprano, Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet, McCoy Tyner piano, Jimmy Garrison and Reggie Workman on basses and Elvin Jones on drums. I just listen and wonder in amazement that this was recorded so long ago and at its sophistication – especially if you compare it to some of the popular jazz of the time. We’re not alone here: it’s reported that American group the Byrds had only one cassette to listen to on their late 1965 tour and that one side featured Ravi Shankar while the other had Coltrane’s Impressions and the Africa/Brass albums. They acknowledged Coltrane’s influence in their celebrated Eight Miles High. Listen to this extended instrumental version from the 1970 Filmore concert which is powered by Skip Battin’s jazzy basswork and see what you think.

There was what I considered a sequence of tunes that complemented each other and sounded fresh, contemporary with an element of challenge. This began with Steve Lehman and Selebeyone, went into Dinosaur and ended with Led Bib, who have a new album recently released.

Poland holds an annual Jazz Day in April. Bands perform and there is a competition for band of the year. In 2017 the winner of the Grand Prix  was the pianist Adam Jarzmik and his Quintet of musical friends with their 2017 release Euphoria. Among the judges was the Cosmic Jazz favourite Piotr Wojtasik. The award was a good choice. It is a record of strong  emotional sounds, mixing the contemporary with the traditional and embracing a subtle intensity.

There was a trip to Brazil at the end of the show. The voice of Milton Nascimento  interwoven with the soprano sax of Wayne Shorter and the further presence on the record of Herbie Hancock, Raul de Souza and Airto Moreira among others. Finally came Baden Powell, the Brazilian guitarist who named himself after the British founder of the scout movement with a tune that epitomises the delicacy, intimacy and melodic beauty of much Brazilian bossa jazz of the 1960s/early 1970s. The album from which this track comes is something of a rarity. For a further taste, listen to one of my favourite tracks – Coisa No1 – which achieves miracles in just over three minutes…

  1. John Coltrane – India from Impressions
  2. Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Laamb from Selebeyone
  3. Dinosaur – Living Breathing from Together As One
  4. Led Bib – Battery Power from Jazzwise sampler Babel Label 1994 – 2014
  5. Adam Jarzmik Quintet – Euphoria from Euphoria
  6. Lukasz Korybalski – He Who Talks Loud Says Nothing from CMM
  7. Milton Nascimento – Saidas e Bandeiras (Exits & Flags) from Milton
  8. Baden Powell – Rosa Flor from Swings with Jimmy Pratt

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Neil is listening to…

07 June 2017: featuring Steve Lehman and Selebeyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmic Jazz has always taken a broad definition of what constitutes jazz. Purists may not like some of the tunes we play, but here at CJ we believe that the influence of jazz is wider than any genre and that cross currents diversify and grow the music into new structures and styles.

The featured album this week from Steve Lehman & Selebeyone is an interesting exemplar of this. Selebeyone is a word in the Wolof language spoken in the West African country of Senegal – it means intersection. Kwami Coleman’s album sleeve notes explain how the word converges idiomatically with French and Arabic and conveys the intersection of forces in motion on the record from hip hop to emceeing and djing/electronic musical production to jazz. As  Coleman states “For Selebeyone, when distinct languages, musical idioms and cultural origins intermingle, the product is a confluence of words, sonic textures, and ideas”. In practical terms, this means alto sax player Steve Lehman is joined by Maciek Lasserre on soprano, Carlos Homs on piano and keys, Drew Gress on acoustic bass, Damion Reid on drums – and also two hip hop vocalists: Gaston Bandimic in Wolof and HPrizm in English. Check out this exciting music with an open mind and ears.

We began this week’s show with more Polish music from sax player Tomasz Wendt and his tune For D.  Also featured this week was yet another of the outstanding group of jazz musicians from Poland. Tomasz Chyla is a violinist who leads a quintet including musicians active with other Polish groups – among them Algorhythm whom we’ve featured on the programme. Chyla takes a clear lead on the this debut album Eternal Entropy, but there is much interplay with the other musicians, especially Szymon Burnos on piano and Piotr Checki on sax. The music is both delicate and strong, and on the tune Three Shades of Black builds up to great intensity.

The impending opening of the 2017 Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk UK – a festival founded by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears – marked an appropriate time to recognise the work of the Aldeburgh Foundation which has promoted musicians beyond the classical origins of the festival. Arnie Somogyi’s Ambulance were the first jazz musicians to gain a music-making residency at the Snape Maltings home of the Foundation. Pianist Tim Lapthorn composed Solace to describe the ambience as he played solo in one of the rooms at Snape.

Finally, there is always room on the programme to play some of our favourite tunes – the first from veteran pianist Ahmad Jamal whose new album Marseille is just out and the second from legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, who is the subject of a new documentary film Chasing Trane out later this year. Interestingly, 86 year old Jamal features rapper Abd Al Malik accompanying his regular extended trio – listen here.

  1. Tomasz Wendt Trio – For D from Behind the Strings
  2. Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Hybrid from Selebeyone
  3.  Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Dualism from Selebeyone
  4.  Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Bamba from Selebeyone
  5. John Coltrane – Stellar Regions from Stellar Regions
  6. Arnie Somogyi’s Ambulance – Solace from Accident and Insurgency
  7. Tomasz Chyla Quintet – Three Shades of Black from Eternal Entropy
  8. Tomasz Chyla Quintet – Last Hope from Eternal Entropy
  9. Ahmad Jamal – Sunday Afternoon from Live in Marciac

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Derek is listening to:

31 May 2017: contemporary Polish jazz

The show this week, available on the MixCloud tab, showcases some contemporary Polish Jazz, and we are fortunate that in Steve’s Jazz Sounds we have a UK source for the interesting, varied and, at times, quite original music that emanates from this East European country.

Poland has long-established jazz artists and exciting new talent emerging all the time. Dziedzic, the group that appears at the start of the show, is led by a veteran of the scene. Drummer Krzystof Dziedzic has been supporting Polish jazz musicians for twenty years but this year has released his own album Tempo, with other musicians supporting him. These include piano/keyboards, bass, timbales, alto/soprano sax and two turntablists. It is a contemporary, electronic, industrial, quirky sound that is both challenging and unique with every tune having a title that involves a number and BPM.

There are two tunes, at least, from each of the artists this week, including from  trumpeter Jerzy Malek and his sextet. Thay sound more conventional after Dziedzic; but thee is nothing wrong with that. His 2017 album Forevelle provides an enjoyable listen, it brings warmth and joy. I like it.

Jazz quintet Algorythm have released their second album in 2017 entitled Mandala. It is a development from their first album Segments. It is more complex, multi-layered and draws upon global influences. It also, however, has variety. The title tune has the sort of spiritual, meditative vibe that you might expect from such a title, but Ambrosia, the second tune played on the show, is different and more up-tempo. Polish jazz has many strands even within a single album.

Last week’s show included a tune from the first  Aga Derlak album First Thought released in 2014. This week there are tunes, three in fact, from the new album Healing. Pianist Agnieszka Derlak is a real talent. She makes powerful and important statements on the piano, while still providing scope for other members of the trio. She has played out beyond Poland. Look out for her and see and hear her where/if you can.

  1. Dziedzic – 158 BPM from Tempo
  2. Dziedzic – 207 BPM from Tempo
  3. Jerzy Malek – Forevelle from Forevelle
  4. Jerzy Malek – Summer Girl from Forevelle
  5. Algorythm – Mandala from Mandala
  6. Algorythm – Ambrosia from Mandala
  7. Aga Derlak Trio – Recovery from Healing
  8. Aga Derlak Trio – The Ultimate Love from Healing
  9. Aga Derlak Trio – Waiting from Healing

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Derek is listening to:

24 May 2017: Brazil and beyond

So often my playlist is influenced by what I have seen or heard since the previous show. During the last week I saw live performances in Norwich from two artists that have featured on Cosmic Jazz so it was to them that I turned to open the show.

There is, however, a major difference from what I played first and what I saw live. For one thing, The Loud Minority on which Dee Dee Bridgewater passionately bawls out and proclaims the rights of the oppressed, was recorded a long time ago – 1972 to be precise. Secondly, what she is doing now is, in her words, not what many in the audience who knew her as a jazz performer might have expected. She is currently showcasing, in advance of an autumn release, a new album entitled MemphisShe has returned to the place of her birth and is re-interpreting the great soul and blues sounds of Memphis, Tennessee. With the support of a tight band and two young sisters as backing vocalists who really looked as if they were having a great time, she gave a belting, raucous and sprightly vocal performance – and that at the age of 67 and with a leg in plaster. Not surprisingly, the audience loved her. If you’re checking out a date on her short European tour, just don’t expect to hear jazz.

Brad Meldhau, who performed in the spiritual setting of St. Andrew’s Hall Norwich, the site of a former monastery, was a different proposition. Surprisingly, there were spare seats for this festival performance, disappointing but there were enough people to give a warm reception to this great piano improviser, There was music from the recent album Blues and Ballads but good to hear there was more besides, including new work. At times, the trio, with Jeff Ballard on drums (very cool and impressive) and Larry Grenadier on bass, were soulful and bluesy too but in a different, much more understated way. They certainly meld together as a whole. There were solos – including a long and intricate one from Meldhau – but this concert wasn’t just about him as a soloist – the trio (who in this incarnation have been together since 2005) are a strongly cohesive unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Aga Derlak Trio from Poland has a much more strident approach which you can hear on Troublesome, the tune featured this week’s show. They are a young group who made a huge impact in Poland when they appeared on the scene and are now reaching a wider stage, for example, the Edinburgh International Festival. They are led by pianist Agnieska Derlak and you know clearly when she is taking the lead, with bold and very definite playing. She is there to be heard. The tune this week was from her 2014 album First Thought and there is more music available. Check Steve’s Jazz Sounds to track down her music.

Jelle Van Giel, a drummer based in Antwerp Belgium, is someone we like on Cosmic Jazz. He leads a septet which sounds like a melodic, almost modal big band. They have a new album, The Journeyreleased in 2017 from which this week’s tune was taken.

It just felt time to return to Brazil: perhaps it was the weather, but more likely the need for the sort of feel-good uplift that so much Brazilian music can bring. First from Sergio Mendes, and a track from an album that was much praised as a return to form on its release, then Paula Sentoro with a tune well known to any devotee of classic Brazilian tunes and finally The Tamba Trio explaining the influence of jazz provided three short, but perfectly formed tunes.

To end the show, the late Arthur Blythe from last year’s two CD release of four original vinyls showed us how a traditional tune can be transformed and enhanced by a great performer – much like Dee Dee Bridgewater is now doing with traditional soul and blues.

  1. Frank Foster – The Loud Minority from The Loud Minority
  2. Brad Mehldau Trio – My Valentine from Blues and Ballads
  3. Aga Derlak Trio – Troublesome from First Thoughts
  4. Jelle van Giel – Just A Little Waltz from The Journey
  5. Sergio Mendes – Senoras Do Amazonias from Brasiliero
  6. Paula Sentoro – Corcovado from Bossa Nova Baby
  7. The Tamba Trio – Influencia Do Jazz from Tamba Trio Classics
  8. Arthur Blythe – Just A Closer Walk With Thee from Blythe Spirit

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Neil is listening to…

18 May 2017: Cosmic Jazz plays cosmic jazz

This week’s show, available now via the Mix Cloud tab (left), is made up of four long, Old School tunes. An identifying feature of two of them at least (and maybe elements of a third) is that they are not only on a Cosmic Jazz show they are cosmic in sound, ambience and effect!

Saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders is a name many would associate with cosmic jazz. His tone is one of the most distinctive voices in jazz – full of raw, rasping overtones one moment and warm, rich and deep at others. The fire of his eleven Impulse! label albums recorded from 1967-1974 gave way to an often more lyrical exploration of jazz standards but still with that commanding tone that remains uniquely strong. For more on that golden age at Impulse! Check out this Red Bull Music Academy feature for more information – and then search out some of the albums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now 76, Sanders is still performing, although his most recent record releases tend to be as guest slots on other albums. Some of these are well worth seeking out: we have featured two on CJ over recent years – The Voyage with Japanese band Sleep Walker and his live recording with alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett on the Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium album. Listen to the deep Intro to Africa track here.

Both sides of Sander’s unique tenor saxophone voice can be heard on the track Love is Everywhere played in full on the show this week. It comes from one of the last of the albums Sanders recorded for Impulse! and features the under-rated piano of Joe Bonner. This is truly music that encompasses freedom and gentleness and speaks deeply of peace and understanding. Sanders, of course, played with John Coltrane in his last years – and in his more recent recordings Sanders channels ‘trane so convincingly that if you close your eyes… You can hear this clearly on this excellent 2011 live concert from London’s Jazz Cafe (here presented in full) – for example, on  the Sanders composition Nozipho that begins the show.

The Pharoah Sanders world of cosmic spirituality could apply equally to the music of  Alice Coltrane. This week’s show featured the tune Blue Nile – which includes Sanders on tenor saxophone and alto flute. Recorded in 1970, this harp/piano/tenor saxophone combination has become a template for many more recent cosmic jazz heroes, including the UK’s Matthew Halsall and Nat Birchall. Just listen to Halsall’s Tribute to Alice Coltrane here to see what we mean. Coltrane’s soaring, modal sounds can be found on Ptah, the El Daoud or the excellent Impulse! compilation Astral Meditation which is an excellent place to start your Alice Coltrane journey. Joining Coltrane and Sanders here are Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone), Ron Carter (bass) and Ben Riley (drums).

Last week I played the tune Black Renaissance by the band of the same name led by Harry Whitaker. The CD has two tunes only and normally I am so enraptured and mesmerised by the first that I play it over and over again. Last week, however, I left the CD playing and gave the second track some attention. Magic Ritual does not match Black Renaissance – I doubt if there is much that can – but it is good, deserves to be heard and has that same feeling of spontaneity, joy and the search for  African-centric expression.

To end the show I played as much as time would allow of what is currently my favourite Fela Kuti tune, Just Like That. You can find it on a number of Fela releases including the excellent compilation, The Two Sides of Fela,  French Barclay release and distributed here by none other than Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label. It’s not that easy to find now but you can also get Just Like That on the Underground System album.

  1. Black Renaissance – Magic Ritual from Black Renaissance: Mind, Body and Soul
  2. Pharaoh Sanders – Love is Everywhere from Love In Us All
  3. Alice Coltrane – Blue Nile from Astral Meditations
  4. Fela Kuti and Africa 80 – Just Like That from The Two Sides of Fela – Jazz and Dance (from Jazz CD 1)

So – having whetted your appetities – would you like to listen to twelve hours of spiritual jazz? For much more of this music, listen to this magisterial, extended review of the genre from London’s NTS Radio. Thanks to Kalamu ya Salaam and his excellent Neo Griot blog for this one.

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Derek is listening to:

Neil is listening to…

10 May 2017: featuring Black Renaissance

Every year as summer draws near I have to play Harry Whitaker’s sensational Black Renaissance: Mind, Body and Spirit – and in full. It is simply a wonderful piece of free, spontaneous and Afrocentric jazz, soul and rapping – before rap was known. In effect and reality, the whole piece was a jam session recorded in one take and – rather fittingly – on Martin Luther King day in 1976.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are just two tracks – Black Renaissance (side 1) and Magic Ritual (side 2). Whitaker comments on the record sleeve that “we discussed ideas the night before – just the basics like the bass lines and the drums, but that was it. It was recorded in what I call moment-to-moment.” For many years the tapes were thought to be lost forever, but they they were eventually tracked down in 2002 by the Luv’n’Haight label in California and released on Ubiquity.

Harry Whitaker was a pianist, producer, arranger and composer who played and recorded with Roy Ayers and Roberta Flack and had influential jazz friends and contacts. The record includes Woody Shaw (check out his trumpet solo), Azar Lawrence, Buster Williams, Billy Hart and Mtume. The music is essentially a  map of the African American musical canvas of 1976, with echoes of Sun Ra’s call and response, Coltrane’s tonal meditations and touches of the electronic wizardry of Herbie Hancock’s early 1970s music.  You simply need to hear this essential music – press the Mixcloud tab now! You can still track down the album on both vinyl and CD. Original Japanese pressings from 1976 come up at around £300 so go for the Lu’n’Haight reissue – around £10 for CD and a little more on vinyl. If you don’t have this jazz essential just treat yourself.

It was another tune from the Dinosaur record Together as One that started off the show. Extinct has been an ever-present on my current playlist for some time now. The clarity of the playing from each player comes out really strongly on this tune. It is jazz for our times from a significant, young British group.

I was reminded recently that a year ago this week I saw the Sun Ra Arkestra under the musical direction of Marshall Allen, now aged 92 and still as strong as ever. The orchestra continues to carry the spirit of Sun Ra and Cosmic Hop manages to combine the spiritual with the danceable. The Jelle Van Giel group from Belgium have featured regularly on the show. We like them and they merit repeated listening. There was another tune from The Devotion, US drummer John Lumpkin’s release from last year. This was one of those tunes that ends in a free and improvised blow-out (like Black Renaissance) – quite different from how it starts. The whole album, available on download, is, in fact, quite unpredictable. One tune, in particular, is very different, maybe I should try it next week…

Two other artists I saw almost a year ago were UK musicians pianist Kit Downes and cello player Lucy Railton. At that time, they were playing with Norwegian Thomas Stronin as he toured in Europe. This week we ended the show with a track from the duo’s recent release Tricko .

  1. Dinosaur – Extinct from Together as One
  2. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance from Black Renaissance: Body, Mind and Spirit
  3. Sun Ra Arkestra – Cosmic Hop from Songs for the Sun
  4. Jelle Van Giel Group – The Truth from Songs for Everyone
  5. John Lumpkin – The Red Sea from The Devotion
  6. Kit Downes – Jinn from Tricko

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Neil is listening to…

03 May 2017: another Cosmic Jazz mix

We try on Cosmic Jazz not to keep to formulas or restrict the genres of music we draw upon within a jazz framework. This week the show was less a mix of jazz related genres but more a mix of jazz styles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of the show I felt it was a strange mix – but one that had really worked. Listen up and see what you think – just click on the Mixcloud arrow left.

Edition Records is an exciting British jazz label with releases from the likes of Tim Garland, Phronesis and artists from continental Europe such as Morten Schantz. Among the very best of these is trumpeter Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur band. Possibly I have been a bit late to pick up on their self titled album Dinosaur released in 2016 –  but it was worth the wait. The tune Awakening had echoes of Miles Davis’ classic In A Silent Way but it is still a contemporary sound for our times. Elliot Galvin, the keyboard player with Dinosaur, leads a trio of his own and one of their tunes followed the Dinosaur tune.

I returned to some of the excellent music available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds, this time from Poland with US connections. Krzystof Popek is a well-established and respected Polish flute player, composer, band leader and record label owner. His Fresh Air album has what appears to be a well-established Polish tradition to invite musicians from other countries, in this case the US. Victor Lewis, George Cables and Cameron Brown are among those featured, as well as Cosmic Jazz favourite, the Polish trumpeter Piotr Wojtasik. Bass player Piotr Lemanczyk is another well-established Polish musician with 25 years of experience. Double Escape illustrates his professionalism, experience and the strength of his bass playing. Piamist Michal Wroblewski is from a different generation. His tune is soulful and spiritual – almost New Orleans comes to Warsaw.

I have had The Devotiona download album from US drummer John Lumpkin for a few months but not given it the attention it merits. Perhaps it is the opening bars of The Conqueror that have put me off, sounding a bit like some melodramatic rock blast, but once you get through that it is something else. I was mesmerised.

There is always room on the programme for jazz greats and this week there was Herbie Hancock from the classic Blue Note album Maiden VoyagePlaying The Eye of the Hurricane conjured up further Caribbean images to follow my last two weeks in Grenada. It all made me stop and realise just how good this album is. The quality of the sound, the musicianship, the strength of the rhythm section and – of course – Herbie Hancock’s timeless composition.

The other iconic jazz artist this week was pianist Andrew Hill. Probably not so well known as Herbie Hancock, at times he is more obtuse and Dedication is for me another of those tunes that does not have the most inviting of opening bars. However, once you are there it is a tune of intense spirituality. Andrew Hill was never predictable, and at times not the easiest to listen to but he is a perennial CJ favourite and unquestionably one of the greats. Add in that the album Point of Departure features the following musicians – Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Richard Davis and Tony Williams – and you can understand how the man commanded the greatest respect.

New York based singer Somi, whose music I adore, has a new album out. Until I acquire it I made do with her last album and her adaptation of a Fela tune featuring Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo. Finally, and to complete the mix, there was another piece from New York, albeit a percussionist with a  Cuban heritage. Manny Oquendo is here performing with some of the elite from the Nuyorican Latin scene on a Latin classic, Rafael Cepeda’s Candela. Check out the man himself here in some bomba magic from New York’s Lincoln Centre sometime in the 1970s.

  1. Dinosaur – Awakening from Together As One
  2. Elliott Galvin Trio – 1666 from Punch
  3. Krzystof Popek – Letters and Leaves from Fresh Air
  4. Piotr Lemanczyk – Double Escape from Live at Club Zak
  5. Michal Wroblewski – Joyride from City Album
  6. John Lumpkin – The Conqueror from the Devotion
  7. Herbie Hancock – The Eye of the Hurricane from Maiden Voyage
  8. Andrew Hill – Dedication from Point of Departure
  9. Somi feat. Angelique Kidjo – Lady Revisited from The Lagos Music Salon
  10. Manny Oquendo – Candela from Mejor Que Nunca (Better Than Before)

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Derek is listening to:

Neil is listening to…

30 April 2017: International Jazz Day

Yes, today is International Jazz Day – your chance to see a jazz artist live, talk openly about jazz (!) and spin, download or stream some jazz music of your choice.

What will Cosmic Jazz be doing on IJD 2017? Well, I shall be flying to Brisbane, Australia and using the seven hours in the air to check out some of the music I’ve listed below. Why not join me?

Neil is listening to …

26 April 2017: Go flute and other funky things

This week’s show from Derek featured music sourced by co-presenter Neil, air-freighted in from his base in Singapore. You can hear it all – just press play to your left and sit back…

The playing order chosen by Derek was truly inspired, starting with a reflection of his recent stay in the West Indies, courtesy of Lunar 7 from Barbados. With more than a nod to the classic guitar sound of Isaac Hayes, African Bump was followed by a track from a 2014 compilation of Congolese music from consistently inspired German label Analog Africa. Multi-instrumentalist Georges Mateta Kiamuangana became a teen star in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) with his Kinshasa band OK Jazz in the late 1960s. He adopted his stage persona after mis-hearing the name of great American R&B saxophonist King Curtis as “Verckys”. You can hear the influence here – have a listen to the King Curtis classic Memphis Soul Stew to see what we mean. The Kingpins were truly some band – with Bernard Purdie, Cornell Dupree and Billy Preston and those Memphis Horns.

Onwards with the music of London remixer, DJ and flautist Tenderlonious from his excellent EP, On Flute and the cut Ghana which references west African styles with some cutting edge synth beats too. Staying on that African tip but over to – yes – Belgium for Ethiopian-inspired grooves from Black Flower. It’s a kind of Ethiodubjazz and it just works! You can listen to, download and buy the CD here on Bandcamp.

One of our favourites, Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, celebrated its recent 10th anniversary with a compilation download. Derek picked out a couple of tracks – Shabaka Hutchings with his South African-influenced Ancestors group and pianist Tigran Hamasyan working with London-based sound artist duo LV.

Why McCoy Tyner in this selection? Well, Neil had chance to check out last month’s Singapore Jazz Festival. Centre stage were artists like Esperanza Spalding and Youssou N’dour but Gilles Peterson had brought over the aforementioned LV and also new UK tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia whose band took on an inspired cover of Tyner’s classic modal masterpiece, Contemplation. You can see more of Garcia on this Red Bull See. Hear. Now feature. And finally, back to the flute, first with Ahmad Jamal and then on a taste of Peter Davis and Dan Biro’s London-based band Mysteries of the Revolution. At first glance Jamal’s album One looks like one of those late 70s middle of the road outings – but prepare to be enlightened. Yes, Jamal’s opening piano figure channels the Isley Bros. Summer Breeze, but there’s terrific piano work throughout and on the title track, yes, more flute – this time from LA sessionman David Crawford.

Mysteries of the Revolution usually sound like an inspired collision between the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gong, Frank Zappa and Tony Williams’ Lifetime – a heady brew! Here though, and to end our flute-fest, it’s pretty much just Tenderlonious again on the track Pandinium from MotR’s recent You Turn Me On EP.  More from these artist in upcoming shows – check out Cosmic Jazz each week.

  1. Lunar 7 – African Bump from Message from the Islands of Barbados
  2. Verckys et l’Orchestre Veve – Bassala Hot from Congolese Funk Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978
  3. Tenderlonious – Ghana from On Flute
  4. Black Flower – Bones from Artifacts
  5. Shabaka and the Ancestors – Joyous from Brownswood 10
  6. LV feat. Tigran Hamasyan – Hammers and Roses from Brownswood 10
  7. McCoy Tyner – Contemplation from The Real McCoy
  8. Ahmad Jamal – One (Ahad) from One
  9. Mysteries of the Revolution – Pandinium from You Turn Me On

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Neil is listening to…

19 April 2017: Caribbean connection

I have just returned from three weeks in the beautiful, friendly, warm and music rich Spice Isle of Grenada. I have, therefore, heard more soca and reggae than jazz. This is reflected in what I am currently listening to (see list below) with Far From Finished by Voice, which won the February 2017 Soca Monarch title in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2017 Carnival, a particular favourite.

There is no soca or reggae in the programme but I was able to start the show with some Caribbean jazz links. The show began with an album we like from young British alto saxophonist Camilla George, whose father was born in Grenada. George’s quartet of young British-based musicians will be well worth seeing live – you can catch them here on the jazzre:freshed site. This was followed by a calypso-influenced piece from alto player Kenny Garrett who has been a great influence on Camilla George. She includes his Ms. Baja bossa influenced composition on her album Isang – you can find Garrett’s original on his excellent album Songbook from 1997.

Some jazz tunes did appear among my iPod shuffle songs while sitting on a verandah enjoying the sea breeze, two of which reminded me of just how good are the albums from which they came. I need say no more about Kamasi Washington but the Dhafer Youssef’s tune I heard reminded me how tranquil, spiritual and profound is his 2016 album  Diwan of Beauty and Odd. The superb trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is a guest on the record. The third in this sequence came from Belgian drummer Jelle Van Giel and his Group. The tune is modal, calming and deep – you could be forgiven for thinking you are listening to Matthew Halsall. Finally, the iPod brought more of Polish trumpeter Piotr Wojtasik and his album Old Land which has become a Cosmic Jazz essential.

The final two tunes on the show reflected my visits to Norwich, both past and in the future. Just before I went away I saw the excellent Norwich-based trio Mammal Hands who have now established a formidable reputation not only nationally but internationally. Their most recent recording Floa is highly recommended as a prime example of contemporary jazz that appeals to a wide age range. Finally there was Brad Meldhau, who I will see at the 2017 Norfolk & Norwich Festival on 18 May, followed by Dee Dee Bridgewater on the 20th.

  1. Camilla George Quartet – The Night Has A  Thousand Eyes from Isang
  2. Kenny Garrett – Calypso Chant from Do Your Dance
  3. Kamasi Washington – Re Run from the Epic
  4. Dhaffer Youssef – 17th Flyway from Diwan of Beauty and Odd
  5. Jelle Van Giel Group – A New Beginning from Songs For Everyone
  6. Piotr Wojtasik – Recognition, Understanding & Acceptance from Old Land
  7. Mammal Hands – Quiet Fire from Floa
  8. Brad Meldhau – Since I Fell For You from Blues and Ballads

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Derek is listening to…

Neil is listening to…

Cosmic Jazz on Ipswich Online Radio