Cosmic Jazz week ending 21 May 2018: tunes from the past but also the present

There is plenty of music from the past available on the Cosmic Jazz MixCloud tab this week, but some important current tunes too. As usual we feature artists from different countries and continents – just how we like it on the show.

There’s often so much music to cram into an hour long show that we have to end with just a glimpse of the last tune. That happened last week (and again this week), so we usually make amends and catch up. As a result, the opener this week was the complete version of Natal – Tema Das Flutas from Brazilian musician Hermeto Pascoal and Grupo Vice Versa. It comes from an album of previously unreleased material from the 1970s now available through the highly rated UK-based Far Out label.

There was further acknowledgement of a recommended BBC TV series Latin Music USA with Mambo Rincon from Mario Bauza, often called “The Legendary Mambo King”. Bauza and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra could fairly claim to have invented Latin jazz. Bauza was born in Cuba in 1911, where he met the great Machito (later to become his brother in law) and the two remained friends and collaborators until Machito’s death in 1984. In 1930 Bauza moved to New York and became involved with bands there (including Cab Calloway’s) where, as the programme explained a band member was very disparaging about his Cuban music. Undeterred he joined Machito’s Latin Orchestra in 1941 as a trumpeter, music director, song composer and arranger. Jazz became an essential element of all their music. The sleeve notes for the Machito album Tanga claim that Latin Jazz began in May 1943. At a Monday evening rehearsal, Bauza got the band to play a jazz melody, Bauza then began blowing jazz riffs over the melody and then asked his alto player to ad-lib. At the end of two hours Mario Bauza had successfully merged jazz with Cuban music and Latin Jazz was born.

I have been enjoying the compilation from DJ Colin Curtis Jazz Dance Fusion. This week there were two tracks from CD 1. The first is one of those essential tunes from Marvin Gaye that with its jazz inflections invited a jazz cover. Michelle Handricks, daughter of jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks, provided just that to superb effect; a wonderful interpretation.  Charles Earland is well known among  jazz dancers for his driving Hammond organ numbers. On Murilly, which apparently tells the story of a girl he once knew, there is not only his organ playing to admire but also his vocal skills, which it has to be said are pretty good. It is a great number and swings forcefully from start to finish.

There was room for some contemporary music beginning with more of the Polish music available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds  Firstly, from back in 2002 came music from trumpet player Jerzy Malek, who actually plays flugelhorn on Out of the Window. Then there was more from the exciting, young pianist Kazia Pietrzko and her Trio, much admired by Neil and me. Her music is dynamic, unpredictable and as the album title suggests forthright. It would be good to see her playing in the UK, especially with  all the wonderful young musicians on the UK jazz scene at the moment. Incidentally if you want to find an exciting young British pianist check Sarah Tandy, whose work with Camilla George we have featured on Cosmic Jazz, and who has her own album coming out later in the year.

I am very excited because next week I am going to hear some of those British musicians at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. On 24 May they have Binker & Moses, on 25 May Ashley Henry and on 26 May Maisha – a very impressive line-up. This week I played a track from Maisha’s free download EP – check it out on jazzre:refreshed. The group is led by drummer Jake Long and it includes British sax player Nubya Garcia – an award winner at the recent Jazz FM awards.

I am afraid it was another of those endings to this week’s show. Firstly there was some unwanted interference and then the tune from the J-Jazz compilation had to be cut short. Perhaps once again I have to make amends next week!

  1. Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo Vice Versa – Natal (Tema Das Flutas) from Viajando Como Som
  2. Mario Bauza – Mambo Rincon from Tanga
  3. Michelle Hendricks – What’s Going On from Colin Curtis presents Jazz Dance Fusion
  4. Charles Earland – Murilly from Colin Curtis presents Jazz Dance Fusion
  5. Jerzy Malek – Out of the Window from Gift
  6. Kazia Pietrzko Trio – Zielore Oczy Grafitowe from Forthright Stories
  7. Maisha – Welcome to a New Welcome from Maisha EP (jazzre:freshed)
  8. Takeo Moriyama – Kaze from J-Jazz Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969 – 1984

Derek is listening to:

  1. Binker & Moses – Black Ave Maria
  2. Ashley Henry, The RE Ensemble – The World Is Yours
  3. Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra – Oyele Que Te Conviene
  4. Luciano – Its Me Again Jah
  5. Mark Springer – You Are Here

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