05 April 2017: CJ favourites (alternate titles)

This week’s show included different tracks from albums that have featured before on CJ, but we began with a blistering take on the jazz standard There is No Greater Love from Chico Freeman, here playing with Polish guitarist David Kostka and his quartet. This standard dates from 1936, and has been interpreted by many jazz artists, including Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal and, of course, singer Billie Holiday.

It was followed by one of the most impressive of recent Polish records out of Steve’s Jazz Sounds. The Piotr Wojtasik album Old Land has the power and range to be regarded as something of a contemporary spiritual jazz classic. Trumpeter Wojtasik is playing with a couple of US heavyweight percussionists – Billy Hart and John Betsch and the depth of sound here is terrific. More Polish jazz from Stansilaw Slowinski and then a new to CJ track from Marcus Strickland’s ambitious Twi-Life group and the album Nihil Novi. This is Strickland’s first release on the now-revitalised Blue Note label under its direction from Don Was. Celestelude actually features clavinet rather than celeste but it also showcases some powerfully funky bass from co-producer M’shell Ndegeocello.

The show ended with a return to two much played records – the debut release from UK saxophonist Camilla George and a terrific reissue from Jane Bunnett, whose jazzy exploration of Cuban sounds on Spirits of Havana was rather unheralded at its initial release in 1993 but now, twenty five years later, comes in a much expanded 2CD reissue. Finally, a blast from the past with the African Jazz Pioneers, a group that dates from the 1950s but was revived by founder Bra Ntemi in the 1970s, going on to share the stage with Youssou N’dour, Nina Simone, Chick Corea and many more.

  1. David Kostka Quartet & Chico Freeman – There is No Greater Love from Love at Aquanet
  2. Piotr Wojtasik – Old Land from Old Land
  3. Stanislaw Slowinski Quartet – Lawina/Avalanche from Landscape
  4. Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life – Celestelude from Nihil Novi
  5. Camilla George – Mama Wati from Isang
  6. Jane Bunnett – Descarga a la Hindemith from Spirits of Havana
  7. African Jazz Pioneers – Riverside from African Jazz Pioneers

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Neil is listening to:

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