Tag Archives: Keith Jarrett

Playlist – 27 December 2012

This week’s programme was the second of our Best of 2012. There were plenty of great new releases squeezed into our 90 minute slot but we also managed a few re-releases with Sun Ra and Spider’s Web, a rarity from the BGP Jazz Funk compilation. Spider’s Webb was the brainchild of drummer Spider Webb and his wife Carol Kaye, the renowned bass guitar session player, famed for her work with Phil Spector, David Axelrod and others.

Neil played a flying visit at the start of the show with a mix of five tracks from new albums and Derek continued with more of the music we enjoyed over the year. For more on what we liked this year, check out our upcoming feature – watch this space.

  1. Flying Lotus – Until the Colours Come
  2. Ahmad Jamal – Autumn Rain
  3. Mala – Cuba Electronic
  4. John Surman – On Staddon Heights
  5. Nik Bartsch’s Ronin – Modul 41_47 (live)
  6. Matthew Halsall – Fletcher Moss Park
  7. EST – Three Falling Part 1
  8. GoGo Penguin – Fanfares
  9. Trish Clowes – Atlas
  10. Kelan Philip Cohran and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Frankincense & Myrrh
  11. Sun Ra – Plutonian Nights
  12. Kenny Garrett – Welcome Earth Song
  13. Carmen Lundy – Love Thy Neighbour
  14. Gabriel Poso – Freedom
  15. Ebo Taylor – Abonsam
  16. Spider’s Web – I Don’t Know What’s On Your Mind

Playlist – 20 December 2012

Now’s the time (as they say in jazz circles) – this week and next, Cosmic Jazz picks the best of 2012. We look at our favourite new releases and reissues from the last twelve months, check out what hits the CJ spot and offer a few recommendations. Esperanza Spalding was a predictable selection – we’ve been raving about Radio Music Society since it was released earlier in the year. – and so too was Jack deJohnette, drum master for Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett and many more. With a new release from ECM of his Special Edition group from the 70s/80s (and too late to feature in most 2012 polls), deJohnette featured twice in our selection. Another four disc set was the latest release from the currently prolific Wadada Leo Smith – his mammoth suite called Ten Freedom Summers. This should be high on the list of any listener interested in the more experimental side of jazz and is a record of the year on many 2012 lists.

But for CJ‘s Neil, another record beat Smith to the top spot. This was an album he camevijay_iyer-001 back to over and over again during the course of the year. Vijay Iyer has one of the great piano trios working in jazz at the moment.and Accelerando is his best release to date and is likely to be one the jazz albums of the decade..Here is where Iyer brings it all together with compositions from such diverse inspirations as Duke Ellington, Flying Lotus and Michael Jackson. The whole thing just works. As Nate Chinen of the New York Times so succinctly says, Accelerando encapsulates his knack for making prickly experimentalism feel approachable, intuitive, even stylish.:

Next week’s show will bring us Derek’s top dogs for 2012 – so expect EST and… well, just wait and see.

  1. Gregory Porter – 1960 What? (Gerardo Frisina Cuban Soul Mix)
  2. Esperanza Spalding – Endangered Species
  3. Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
  4. Jessica Lauren Four – White Mountain
  5. Nat Birchall – The Black Ark
  6. Jack deJohnette’s Special Edition – I Know
  7. Jack deJohnette – Enter Here
  8. Charlie Mingus – Track C: Group Dancers
  9. Quarteto de Saba – Pra Che Chorar
  10. Wadada Leo Smith – Thurgood Marshall and Brown vs Board of Education: A Dream of Equal Education, 1954
  11. Keith Jarrett Quartet – Personal Mountains
  12. ‘Stonephace’ Stabbins – Soul Train
  13. Vijay IyerTrio – Human Nature

Video this week has to come from our first 2012 poll winner Vijay Iyer and his trio, Stephan Crump on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums (who, incidentally, is grandson of jazz drumming legend Roy Haynes):

Playlist – 08 August 2012

Tonight’s Cosmic Jazz was the last solo show from Neil for a while. Next week Derek returns to take the reins, ride the show to victory and present a record tally of gold standard jazz. Tonight, though, we heard new music from one of CJ’s favourite sons, Wadada Leo Smith, in a track from his epic new four CD set. This monumental work- called Ten Freedom Summers – was described by The Wire magazine called it “a monumental evocation of America’s Civil Rights movement” – and the release of this album is a major jazz event.

Other music tonight was as varied as expected on a Cosmic Jazz playlist. Not only did the programme bookend with music from Jamaica (reflecting celebrations of 50 years of independence), but the surprise inclusion of Lord Kitchener signalled that sprinter Usain Bolt had won another gold medal for his country whilst we were on air.

There was more from Keith Jarrett’s stunning 1979 Tokyo concert and some Blue Note brilliance from Chick Corea’s famous ‘Is’ sessions a decade earlier. Still in the tradition, Steve Lehman reinterpreted John Coltrane’s Moment’s Notice while Graham Collier and Mike Taylor Remembered represented great British jazz of the 1960s. Finally, after the sensational Wadada Leo Smith came two mixes – Walt Dickerson and Marcus Miller were unlikely bedfellows in a very different way from Mario Brown and John Surman.

  1. Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks – Silent Force
  2. DRC Music – Respect of the Rules
  3. The Subterraneans (feat. Mardou Fox and Jonsi) – Taurus Woman
  4. Chick Corea – The Brain
  5. Keith Jarrett Quartet – New Dance
  6. Steve Lehman Trio – Moment’s Notice
  7. Graham Collier – Lullaby for a Lonely Child
  8. Lord Kitchener – Sweet Jamaica
  9. Mike Taylor Remembered – Timewind
  10. Bahia Black – The Seven Powers
  11. Jackie McLean and Michael Carvin – The Tob
  12. Wadada Leo Smith – Thurgood Marshall and Brown vs Board of Education: A Dream of Equal Education, 1954
  13. Walt Dickerson – The Nexus/Marcus Miller – The Blues
  14. Marion Brown – Bismillahi ‘Rrahmani ‘Rrahim/John Surman – Saltash Bells
  15. Black Uhuru – Slaughter

Playlist – 26 July 2012

It was a solo show from Neil on this week’s CJ. In a overheated studio, with the Olympics about to start in London, we featured music that reached a personal best, set a new world record and in general was higher, faster and stronger. Whatever that means… What you got was new music from Billy Hart along with some Brazilian sounds that reflect the recent change in UK weather along with a club feeling for the last 20 minutes of the show.

We began with the French trio of DJ Oil, Fred Berthet, and Arnaud Taillefer who make up Troublemaker, played two vibes based tracks (one from the 1970s with Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton and one contemporary and very listenable track from maverick John Zorn) before continuing with a deep performance from tenor sax master Brecker and following this with Heatwave’s original The Star of a Story and NY pianist’s dazzling take on this classic soul track. A CJ favourite from Emanative with trumpeter Matthew Halsall followed this before we began our Brazilian segment – the Reminisence Quartet (on a rare import Neil picked up in Bilbao), Ceu’s brand new take on an Upsetters’ reggae classic and O Lance from Brazil’s finest Azymuth.

The summery vibe continued with Quantic and Alice Russell’s lovely Magdalena, the stunning rhythmic patterns of drummer Billy Hart and a funky live outing from Joe Henderson. The show ended with our ‘jazz outside’ mix- a big band live concert tribute to hip hop producer J Dilla, P’Taah’s German electronica,  UK club sounds from Mr Scruff and back to Brazil with Mos Def’s rap sampling of Banda Black Rio’s version of Casa Forte.

Go for gold – listen to Cosmic Jazz on Listen Again as soon as you can.

  1. Troublemakers – Electrorloge
  2. Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton – Como en Vietnam
  3. John Zorn – Miller’s Crake
  4. Michael Brecker – Minsk
  5. Heatwave /Vijay Iyer – The Star of a Story
  6. Emanative (feat. Matthew Halsall) – Find You
  7. Reminiscence Quartet – Psychodelica
  8. Ceu – You Won’t Regret It
  9. Azymuth – O Lance
  10. Quantic and Alice Russell – Magdalena
  11. Billy Hart – Tolli’s Dance
  12. Joe Henderson – If You’re Not Part of the Solution, You’re Part of the Problem
  13. Mochilla Project (for J Dilla) – Welcome to Detroit
  14. P’Taah – No One, No How, Never
  15. Mr Scruff – Sweet Smoke
  16. Mos Def – Casa Bey

So how about the pairing of vocalist Flora Purim and Stan Getz? Check them out here with Stanley Cowell on piano, Miroslav Vitous on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. It’s not Purim’s best performance by a long way but what a group to play with – wonder if they ever recorded?

Best of 2011

Cosmic Jazz enters its fourth year and our Best of 2011 features the same eclectic mix of music as the regular show. As most listeners know, during the show we don’t have a prearranged playlist and we have always played whatever we like. As for acclaimed critic Whitney Balliett, jazz for us is simply “the sound of surprise”. Each of these releases briefly reviewed below will feature tracks we’ll come back to in the coming months. There’s no particular order this year, just great music that we’ll continue to feature in the show.

Last year we featured Charles Lloyd’s career-defining Mirror as our best album and this year we’ve chosen another saxophonist whose album Sacred Dimension we have come back to again and again on the show. Tenor player Nat Birchall’s two previous releases on Gondwana Records were very firmly in the Coltrane quartet classic modal mould, but on this new release Birchall’s group has a broader soundbase, most notably through the use of Corey Mwamba’s vibes. Of course, the Coltrane influence is still a major factor but Birchall’s playing here reaches well beyond mere Coltrane-lite. The result is music you will come back to again and again. For me, this was the disc of choice during my most recent month in Beijing: I played it more than a dozen times then and I’ll be continuing to do so throughout 2012. As if this wasn’t enough, Gondwana also released another excellent album from Manchester stablemate Matthew Halsall. On the Go was a delight from start to finish with several standout tracks including Song for Charlie which captures one of Halsall’s strengths – dreamy ballads with insidious melodies that bear repeated listening.

2011 was undoubtedly Gregory Porter’s breakthrough year. His album Water topped many end of year polls (including that of the UK’s Jazzwise magazine) and we were pleased to be involved in an exclusive ICR interview with Porter earlier in the year. Although the stand out track 1960 What? achieved worldwide airplay and now has a handful of indifferent remixes to its name, Porter’s rich baritone carries conviction throughout the remaining tracks.

We played several tracks from another US singer’s latest album The Gate. Eclectic producer Don Was created some multi-tracking magic on reworkings of Norwegian Wood, Blue in Green and – most unusually – King Crimson’s Matte Kudasi. As always, Elling is served by a brilliant band including longtime pianist and musical arranger Laurence Hobgood.

UK pianist and Leeds College of Music graduate Leon Greening cut his new album Cookin’ in Brooklyn in NYC and produced a consistently good record in which his post-bebop credentials are enhanced on three tracks by American altoist Vincent Herring. We particularly liked the cut Waterloo but this is a consistently good set from a very underrated pianist. Still in the Big Apple, Still Life – the piano trio from drummer Sean Hutchinson –gave us a great self titled album which we returned to several times during the year. We loved the imaginative taken on Radiohead’s Planet Telex, another sign that this UK band are providing yet more contemporary standards for jazz artists to reinterpret.

Much has been made of Keith Jarrett’s new solo recording Rio. The story goes that Jarrett knew that the music was some of his best and on the flight back from Brazil he asked ECM producer Manfred Eicher to release as soon as possible. It is certainly a return to the straightforward lyricism of the Koln Concert and Bremen/Lausanne but certainly for this reviewer Rio is without the overwhelming emotional impact of the longer form so apparent on both those 1970s masterpieces. However, fellow sometime solo pianist Brad Mehldau also recorded a live double CD this year. Mehldau’s Live in Marciac is – I think – the real deal. Mehldau has a great way with the ballad standard and his take here on Secret Love is astonishingly assured. You’ll never need to listen to another version after this.

Two late 2011 great British releases that we haven’t had time to feature on the show will definitely start off the new year for us. Veteran Stan Tracey once again tackled the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (remember his masterpiece Under Milk Wood?) and released A Child’s Christmas in Wales, this time including the lyrics spoken by grandson Ben Tracey. A quiet, unassuming and very British record, this pairing of Thomas’ quirky metaphors and Tracey’s Monkish tones made for delightful listening. Meanwhile Basho artist Kit Downes expanded his piano trio to great effect with tenor sax and cello on the excellent Quiet Tiger album. This subtle ambitious music even included a warm and bluesy tribute to Skip James.

Not so the willfully dangerous US trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday and produced the ambitious and noisy Heart’s Reflections. This veered wildly from all out deep grooves to dreamily reflective pieces all expansively trailed across two CDs. The unusual instrumentation includes four guitars, two saxophones, a violin, two basses (one electric, one acoustic), two laptop players, along with the more conventional rhythm section of drums and piano and the result is a demanding bur very rewarding listen. Similarly edgy was the first release from Loop Collective group Ma. Called The Last, this CD featured saxophonist Tom Challenger, here working with drummer Dave Smith, organist Ross Stanley and electronics wizard Matt Calvert. The result is music fed by dubstep as much as jazz. We liked the roaring freejazz meets bass music of Pipes and the big organ-driven sound world of the dark, dubby Noir.

With Michael Brecker gone, the most obvious inheritor of Coltrane’s mantle (aside from UK’s Nat Birchall of course) is the highly regarded Joe Lovano whose Us Five group released Bird Songs, an album which reflected on the legacy of Charlie Parker in a surprising and often highly original way. Lovano isn’t content just to have a go at some of the greatest standards in the jazz language but rather he imbues many with a wholly new spirit breathing new life into Ko Ko, Donna Lee and Loverman.

2011 was a great year for reissues and we championed several of our favourites over the year. The best of the bunch had to be the batch of 50 Impulse! Two on One releases, which paired up albums on one CD pack. Some of our favourites included the Pharoah Sanders twofer Village of the Pharoahs/Wisdom Through Music and Elvin Jones’ Illumination!/Dear John C but for me the best pairings are those from less well known artists including Gabor Szabo, Chico Hamilton and Marion Brown. The latter’s Geechee Recollections/Sweet Earth Flying is very highly recommended.

The British label Vocalion – more used to releasing classic UK jazz – delivered a CD album compilation of two long unavailable Bennie Maupin albums from the late 70s – Moonscapes and Slow Traffic to the Right. This is basically a refinement of the Herbie Hancock sound of classic albums like Crossings and Sextant (and indeed synth pioneer Dr. Patrick Gleeson produced these and the two Maupin albums). Whilst everyone will talk about the Miles Davis Quintet’s Live in Europe 3CD and DVD package, another great reissue was the Bitches Brew Live package which featured some previously unissued Newport Festival tracks from 1969 together the complete Isle of Wight performance from the following year. Whilst this has been available before it is good to have it here with an accurate track listing for the first time. Both of these reissues remind us that Davis generated two unequalled creative peaks just a few years apart. Who else in jazz has achieved this?

Soul Jazz Records delivered their usual high standard of beautifully packaged compilations and spiritual jazz reissues. Bossa Jazz: the Birth of Hard Bossa, Samba Jazz and Brazilian Fusion 1962-73 is the latest in their review of Brazilian music genres. Many of the tracks have been issued before but the usual authoritative notes are always a welcome addition. Soul Jazz is also on a mission to reissue some jazz rarities from the 70s, and we have particularly enjoyed reissues from Steve Colson’s Unity Troupe and the Lloyd McNeill Quintet. Although raised in New Jersey, Colson has links with the AACM in Chicago, and the Art Ensemble’s Joseph Jarman appears on Triumph!, a reissued album from 1980. Also on Soul Jazz and from ten years earlier was the excellent Washington Suite from flautist and composer, painter and photographer Lloyd McNeill. This reissue was featured on several Cosmic Jazz shows – and we will be coming back to it in 2012.

Recent years have seen a swathe of Coltrane reissues but late 2011 saw something special – a reissue of the Complete Stuttgart Concert from 1963. This double CD on Domino Records features extended versions of classic ‘trane tracks from the classic Quartet, including Impressions, My Favourite Things and a blistering version of Afro-Blue.

There’s just time to add four more recommendations in brief – on the fringes of jazz but great fun is the George Duke-influenced The Golden Age of Apocalypse from Thundercat, bass player to Flying Lotus while Austin Peralta’s Endless Planets is the third (and most fully realised) album from this teenage keyboard prodigy. Mercury award nominee Gwilym Simcock produced another excellent piano album – this time a solo performance for his new label ACT. Good Days at Schloss Elmau begins with These Are the Good Days and doesn’t let up. Meanwhile trumpeter Enrico Rava showcased a new quintet on his latest ECM album Tribe. On a recent show we played the uptempo Choctaw, surely a reference to fellow trumpeter Don Cherry.

It’s been a great year for new jazz but maybe even a better year for reissues. CJ looks forward to more great music in 2012. Join us on our musical journey through the spaceways of jazz.

Playlist – 08 December 2011

Neil was back from Beijing and tonight’s Cosmic Jazz featured new music from Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, a bizarre collaboration between UK drummer Seb Rochford and theremin player Pamelia Kurstin, the lyricism of Keith Jarret’s new solo piano release and a truly inspiring 1963 broadcast from Stuttgart of John Coltrane’s classic quartet at their peak.

Listen and enjoy!

  1. Sebastian Rochford/Pamelia Kurstin – Slow
  2. Freddie Hubbard – Return of the Prodigal Son
  3. Enrico Rava Quintet – Choctaw
  4. Zara McFarlane – Feed the Spirit (The Children and the Warlock)
  5. Chico Hamilton – Conquistadores (The Conquerors)
  6. Milton Banana – Primitivo
  7. Paul Motian Band – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  8. Bobby Hutcherson – Spiral
  9. John Coltrane Quartet – Afro Blue
  10. Lloyd McNeil Quartet – 2504 Cliffborne Pl.
  11. Keith Jarrett – Rio pt. 5
  12. Tomasz Stanko – Song for Ania Kattornia
  13. Wadada Leo Smith – Don Cherry’s Electric Sonic Garden (for Don Cherry)
  14. Miles Davis – Blow
  15. Weather Report – River People (live)

We are sad to hear that Gilles Peterson will be leaving BBC R1 in April next year as a result of scheduling changes. We hope that his brand of musical discovery finds a new radio home and that Gilles continues to find the perfect beat.

Listen to the first ever GP Mad on Jazz show broadcast on 02 September 1986 on Radio London here and check out this videoclip:

Playlist – 24 November 2011

A solo show from Derek catching up on things he has meant to play for some time.

Roy Haynes started things off with a live track recorded when he was 82. He is now 86 and still going strong. Haynes gave a dynamic performance with his Fountain of Youth Band  at the London Jazz Festival on 19 November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. I was lucky to be there in the second row to see him begin with a tap dance, then progess to a drum solo and then keep going through the set with an array of complex rhythms while leading his youthful band. Roy was the joking, ever-moving livewire while the rest of the band – all highly accomplished musicians – appeared, by contrast, as serious, straight, dedicated college kids. This was a great show.

The drummer Paul Motian has died and there was a  track from Bill Evans on which he played. He also played on Death and the Flower – the 1974 Keith Jarrett record from which Prayer was taken – although he was not on that particular number. There was also more from the excellent selection of re-releases that are around at the moment, three tracks from the Bossa Jazz double CD from Soul Jazz records and on the same label a tune from Washington Suite by the Lloyd McNeil Quartet.

The Impulse Records 50th Anniversary Two on One series are definitely worth looking out for, but don’t pay more that £4.50 for a double album CD. The Elvin Jones tune was from this series. There was also another taster, although brief, from Our Latin Thing on Strut Records – a DVD and double CD from the seminal Fania All Stars.

  1. Roy Haynes – My Heart Belongs to Daddy
  2. Bill Evans – Luck Be a Lady
  3. Keith Jarrett – Prayer
  4. Elvin Jones – Nuttin’ Out Jones
  5. Samabalanco Trio – Improviso Negro
  6. Quarteto Novo – Fica Mal Com Deus
  7. Som Imaginario – A – 3
  8. Lloyd McNeil Quartet – Just 71% Moor
  9. Charles Lloyd – Little Wahid’s Day
  10. Tina Brooks – Good Old Soul
  11. Tomasz Stanko Quartet – Cyrhia
  12. Fania All Stars – Descarga Fania

Playlist – 04 August 2011

Tonight’s programme included a Simcock/Jarrett standoff, a Brecon Jazz feature and more out-there sounds from the likes of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry,  Stanton Davis and others. This year’s Brecon Festival has one of the strongest lineups ever – and we featured some of the artists you can hear next weekend – Christian Prommer, Phronesis, Matthew Halsall, Stonephace, Robert Glasper, the Sam Crowe Group, Zoe Rahman and Courtney Pine.

  1. Stanton Davis’ Ghetto/Mysticism – Space-a-Nova
  2. Codona – Inner Organs
  3. Nik Bartsch’s Ronin – Modul 47
  4. Keith Jarrett – In Front
  5. Gwilym Simcock – These are the Good Days
  6. Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson – Acid Eiffel
  7. Ornette Coleman – Street Blues
  8. Robert Glasper’s Experiment – 4Eva/Butterfly
  9. Zoe and Idris Rahman – O, River
  10. Sam Crowe Group – Synaesthesia
  11. Phronesis – Eight Hours
  12. Matthew Hallsall – Reflections
  13. Marc Johnson’s Bass Desires – Black is the Colour of my True Love’s Hair
  14. Stonephace – Levels and Degrees of Light
  15. The Pharaohs – Freedom Time
  16. Edguardo El Productor En Jefe (Tropicalia remix) – Mami
  17. Courtney Pine – Southern Skandinavian Blues

Video this week comes form another Don Cherry group – Old and New Dreams. Formed with drummer Ed Blackwell and featuring Charlie Haden on bass and Dewey Redman on saxes, this is their version of Ornette Coleman’s Happy House:

Keith Jarrett setlist – RFH 27 July 2011 (updated II)

From an excellent review in the Guardian (29 July 2011) the setlist is now confirmed as follows:

  1. In Your Own Sweet Way (Brubeck)
  2. Basin Street Blues (Williams)
  3. Sandu (Brown)
  4. Answer Me My Love (Winkler, Rauch)
  5. Bop Be (Jarrett)
  6. Yesterdays (Kern, Harbach)
  7. When Will the Blues Leave (Coleman)
  8. God Bless the Child (Holiday, Herzog)
  9. Once Upon a Time (Adams, Strouse)
  10. One for Majid (laRoca)
  11. When I Fall in Love (Young, Heyman)

Thanks to everyone who has helped us with this. You know who you are!


Playlist – 28 July 2011

Neil’s back! Following two great shows from Derek, the challenge is on… We started with a classic Emanative track and some neglected Rhodes wizardry from RAD before diving into the electronics and dub of new Loop outfit Ma.

A Keith Jarrett feature celebrating his return to London’s Royal Festival Hall last night included the first recording of the Standards Trio’s take on God Bless the Child, reprised as one of four encores at the RFH.

There was also time for more outer edge stuff from Edward Larry Gordon and Miles Davis and some dubby weirdness from Bugge Wesseltoft guesting with fellow Finns the Mungolian Jet Set. It’s all part of the mix that makes Cosmic Jazz so unique – enjoy…

  1. Emanative feat. Ahu – Turn Your Lights On
  2. RAD – Fela
  3. Ma – We Need Two
  4. Scientist vs Shackleton – Marshes Dub
  5. Mungolian Jet Set – Close Encounters of the Mung Kind/Inexpired Pyro: What Took You So Long?
  6. Arve Henriksen – Migration
  7. Harmonia and Eno – Atmosphere/The Necks – Fatal
  8. Robert Mitchell 3io – Third Stream
  9. Keith Jarrett – The Windup
  10. Keith Jarrett – Silence
  11. Keith Jarrett – God Bless the Child
  12. Edward Larry Gordon – All Pervading
  13. Erik Truffaz – Yay!
  14. Miles Davis (reconstructed by Bill Laswell) – Agharta Dub
  15. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Cay’s Crays

Video this week has to reflect the Keith Jarrett Trio’s performance at the RFH. Here they are with an amazing take on You Don’t Know What Love Is. Breathtaking…