Week ending 20 October 2018: great pianists and more Polish jazz

lt has been a bit of a gap but Cosmic Jazz is back with its usual mix of jazz both old and new from around the globe. Click on the Mixcloud tab on this page to hear the show.

My colleague Neil put forward  a tune for inclusion that inspired the two selections that followed. The British band Hexagonal have produced an album that is a tribute to two fantastic pianists, namely US great McCoy Tyner, he of the classic Coltrane quartet and Bheki Mseleku who was born in South Africa and moved to the UK where he recorded some highly-regarded jazz. Jason Yarde, the Hexagonal alto player has played with Tyner and both the Hexagonal pianist John Donaldson and the drummer Simon Thorpe played with Bheki Mseleku. The tune on the show was their take on the McCoy Tyner tune Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit and an impressive version it is too. It seemed only natural to follow this with tunes by McCoy and Bheki. From the former came the uptempo African Village and from the latter the more measured and contemplative title tune from his album Celebration. Apparently, this album is due for re-release. It is a recommended album, as – of course – is any work from McCoy Tyner.

The inclusion of ‘Village’ in the title above inspired the choice of a Cosmic Jazz classic from Japanese band Quasimode.  Written by British tenor player Tubby Hayes, Down in the Village is a reference to the celebrated NY jazz venue, The Village Vanguard. The wealth of music we come across through Steve’s Jazz Sounds illustrates what a jazz-rich nation Poland must be. In Poland, many musicians from the past have, and a new generation of exciting young players are, receiving recognition  beyond the borders of the country. Two of these were included in this week’s show. Firstly, the Wojtek Masolewski Quintet with two tunes from their album Polka. This album went platinum in Poland but reached many other places too. The band have toured across twenty-one countries, with a recent performance at London’s Jazz Cafe. Their music respects and harks back to the traditions but it is also contemporary and infused with electronica. This was followed by EABS a septet of young Polish musicians, Again, they respect the past and combine traditional Polish jazz with new sounds; there is a turntable in the mix. They have been compared to some of the young musicians on the current London scene and like them are bringing jazz to some new and younger audiences.

The show ended with one of those contemporary, tough, genre-stretching tunes that are now appearing from many sources, in this case from the James Brandon Lewis Trio. They are soon to appear at the London Jazz Festival in November.

  1. Hexagonal – Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit from McCoy & Mseleku
  2. McCoy Tyner – African Village from Time for Tyner
  3. Bheki Mseleku – Celebration from Celebration
  4. Quasimode – Down in the Village from Down in the Village
  5. Wojtek Masolewski Quintet – Roma II from Polka
  6. Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet – Sunday from Polka
  7. EABS – Private Conversations VIII from Repetitions: Letters to Krzystof Komeda
  8. James Brandon Lewis Trio – Y’All Slept from No Filter

Derek is listening to ….

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