This week we began a countdown of our favourite five Cosmic Jazz tracks.
We each played our number five choice this week and will then continue down over the following weeks. Any guesses for what might be in our top five, or ideas for yours – just add to Comments below.
Derek’s new play this week had just arrived from Steve’s Jazz Sounds. Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life was recorded in Brooklyn, New York and – much as you might expect from a contemporary New York trio – there is some heavy drumming from Sean Hutchinson, strong bass playing from Bridget Kearney and delicate piano figures from Omer Klein.
You have got to be interested in any CD with tunes entitled Treat Me like Train Tracks or Red Fish Blue Fish Dead Fish Same Fish. Listen up.
And not to be outdone, Neil got hold of Austin Peralta’s new release, Endless Planets. Produced by Flying Lotus, this starts up like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock and ends with an epic track that has more than a nod to Ole-era Coltrane. Perhaps not surprising – Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison) is Alice Coltrane’s nephew. Keeping it in the family, I guess…
Our favouite number fives? Just Listen Again to find out…
Sun Ra – Beautiful Love
Yusef Lateef – Psychicemotus
Ornette Coleman Trio – Dee Dee
Henri Texier – The Band Over the Clouds
Chris Potter – Pop Tune
Jef Gilson Septet avec Lloyd Miller – Le Grand Bidou
Austin Peralta – Capricornus
Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Red Fish Blue Fish Dead Fish Same Fish
Robert Glasper Trio – No Worries
Tenorio Jr. – Nebulosa
Brad Mehldau – My Favourite Things
Sarah Vaughan – The Mystery of Man
Airto Moreira & Flora Purim – Anatello
Bahama Soul Club – Sugar Cane [Extended Uncle remix]
Video this week comes from Brad Mehldau – it’s his version of Radiohead’s Exit Music (for a Film):
It is not often that tunes played on the BBC Radio 3 programme Jazz Record Requests influences the Cosmic Jazz playlist. It is a programme that usually plays music from differerent points of the jazz spectrum.
Last week’s programme, however, featured the beautiful Max Roach tune Effi from the album Members, Don’t Git Weary, a highly recommended album from which Gilles Peterson played musical selections when Max Roach died. Another tune on last week’s programme was the Hank Mobley classic Soul Station. They enlivened a journey from Ipswich to Norwich and deserve another airing – look for both on this week’s Cosmic Jazz.
The excellent Echoes magazine is celebrating 35 years of publication. In the February edition its deputy editor & jazz correspondent Kevin LeGendre, along with their soul, reggae and hip-hop specialists have selected their favourite 35 albums of that period. Two of Kevin’s choices will feature on the programme tonight. While we are talking of February magazines, this month’s edition of Jazzwise includes a review by Cosmic Jazz presenter Neil MacRae.
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson – Stakes is High
Sonny Rollins – Alfie’s Theme
Hank Mobley – This I Dig of You
Jackie McLean – I’ll Keep Loving You
Steve Williamson – Waltz for Grace
Jaco Pastorius – Opus Pocus
Cleveland Watkiss – Blessing in Disguise
Miles Davis – Ife (live)
Max Roach – Effi
Kenny Garrett – Lonnie’s Lament
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
Weather Report – Black Market (live)
Babatunde Lea – March of the Jazz Guerrillas
Havana Cultura (feat. Roberto Fonseca) – Mami
Two really unusual Youtube clips this week. The first features the late Dr Billy Taylor, here with Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith and Duke Ellington (and an unseen band…) on The David Frost Show:
Well – it was a good show! We loved the rare Masabumi Kikuchi track from a 1980 Japanese album (Susto) which followed a Milesian late 70s groove better than most – not surprising given that Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman, James Mason and Airto were involved. Trumpet duties from Terumaso Hino completed the picture. A great track and one we’ll come back to.
Elsewhere were the promised 1969 Indian-trance grooves from Pat Martino, a surprisingly straight take on Human Nature from Vijay Iyer and a dazzling solo outing from the World Saxophone Quartet’s alto player Julius Hemphill.
New jazz vinyl cuts came from Max Grundhard and Gideon Van Gelder along with a vinyl reissue of The Silver Apple, a 1975 album from young British pianist Peter Fish. The show gathered speed to finish with a dazzling workout from Charles Earland and a slice of Herbie’s best street funk from the sometimes overlooked classic Thrust.
Vijay Iyer – Human Nature
Albert Ayler – Zion Hill (alternative take)
Manuel Valera – Home
Wendell Harrison – Tons and Tons of BS
Masabumi Kikuchi – New Native
Max Grundhard – Vortex
Julius Hemphill – Kansas City Line
Gideon Van Gelder – Wave
Pat Martino – Baiyina
Peter Fish – Friend and Lover
Gato Barbieri – Milonga Triste
Charles Earland – Cosmic Fever
Herbie Hancock – Spank-a-Lee
And so onto our videoclip for this week. Here’s Julius Hemphill leading a big band playing The Hard Blues sometime in the 1980s.
The programme tonight offered another chance to hear one of our favourite Cosmic Jazz tracks – Black Renaissance – as a mark of respect for the late Harry Whitaker.
Derek also played lengthy, spiritual, even cosmic tunes. For the first time on the programme we heard pianist Peter Fish recorded when he was a 19 year old, proof that Eddie Harris was a serious jazz musician and more from the recently re-released Asha disc from the Lloyd McNeil Quartet.
Both the Billy Gault tune (from a tribute CD to John Coltrane) and the Peter Fish LP can be found on the Rush Hour site – see under our links section. Rush Hour distributes the Amsterdam-based Kindred Spirits label amongst others. Check them out for their commitment to cosmic jazz.
Welcome to the new year! We’re looking forward to another great year in jazz here at Cosmic Jazz and we know you’ll enjoy the journey with us.
Music tonight comes from Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, Harry Beckett and more. Our very special track is a rare live version of Healing Song from Pharoah Sanders in all its full unedited glory.
Conrad Herwig – Ping Pong
Lloyd McNeill Quartet – Asha
Marcus Belgrave – Space Odyssey
Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – Motherhood
Pharoah Sanders – Healing Song (live)
Quasimode – Take the New Frontiers (cosmic triangulation in G minor mix)
Gideon van Gelder – Moonstone
Abbey Lincoln – The Music is the Magic
Christian Scott – After All
David Sanchez – Tu y Mi Cancion
Babatunde Lea – Baldwin’s Fire
Cassandra Wilson (feat. Angelique Kidjo) – Voodoo Reprise
Cosmic Jazz live became another casualty of the British weather this week. Heavy snow and the forecast of more to come through the evening led to the cancellation of the live programme. An old programme did go out, however, so this could be an opportunity to listen again.
This week’s programme was enlivened and enriched by the visit of Pete who, despite the hostile weather, came all the way from Hertfordshire to share records with Derek. The programme began with a tribute to Harry Whitaker the pianist and creator of the Black Renaissance project who died recently. There will be more next week.
Pete’s selections are always interesting and I was left with the difficult task of making a response. Pete chose three records that featured vibes players: Bobby Hutcherson with his own group, Bill le Sage (someone I saw many times at the Bull’s Head in Barnes Bridge) on the Ronnie Ross track and Orphy Robinson who is featured on Jazz Jamaica. As in previous visits, Pete continued his campaign to have ska musicians recognised for their jazz skills. This time the evidence came from Don Drummond on Thoroughfare.
Another solo show from Derek as Neil is at the London Jazz Festival being tutored in the art of writing jazz reviews. The task last night was to pen a review of Gary Burton at the QEH and deliver it first thing this morning… Job done by 2am.
His impressions and reflections on six very creative days will appear on CJ in coming weeks and a slightly recrafted Burton review now appears elsewhere on the site.
This week had more live recordings than usual – Sonny Rollins at Montreux, Teruo Nakamura and Sadao Watanabe in Japan as well as live material from Miles Davis and Yusef Lateef. The Independent newspaper for the last two Fridays has featured some of the favourite live albums of both musicians and readers. The choices, particularly of readers, included some horrendous rock anachronisms.
CJ thinks they should listen to some live jazz recordings to find out how music can stand the test of time…
Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack
The Bennie Maupin Ensemble – Walter Bishop
Teruo Nakamura – Unicorn Lady
Sadao Watanabe – Paysages
Miles Davis – It’s About That Time
Bahama Social Club – King’s Wig
JFR Quintet – Nairoo
Mario Bondi – This is What You Are
Archie Shepp – Syeeda’s Song Flute
Yusef Lateef – Oscaralypso
Sonny Rollins – The Cutting Edge
Horace Parlan – The Book’s Beat
Tabu Ley Rochereau – Na Nono
This week’s video is from Archie Shepp and Horace Parlan live at Montreux performing Shepp’s Mama Rose. Parlan’s right hand was crippled by polio as a child, but he used this apparent disadvantage to create a unique style. Watch out for the very sudden ending to this clip.
For more of the same, try the great duet album Goin’ Home.
A solo show from Derek that had some different sounds not heard on Cosmic Jazz before. There were three tunes from Japan, although one featured some distinguised guests from the USA. There was a different side to McCoy Tyner, with the late Phyllis Hyman on vocals, who I have known from a 12″ disco single in my collection (Riding the Tiger) not as a jazz singer. She did, however, sing with Pharaoh Sanders as well.
There was more scatting, this time from Betty Carter, who was a supreme exponent of the art, some offbeat sounds from Michael White to prove The Blessing Song is not the only interesting thing he has done – and even a touch of latin jazz from Johnny Blas who has a band with a mighty brass section including four trombones.
Takeo Moriyama – Watarase
String Band featuring Isao Suzuki – Nica’s Dream
Michael White – Fiesta Dominica
Betty Carter – Sounds
Dave Holland Big Band – A Time Remembered
Johnny Blas – Picadillo
McCoy Tyner – Love Surrounds Us Everywhere
Randy Weston – In Memory Of
Terumasa Hino – Fuji
This week’s video clip is Terumasa Hino in action at the Mt Fuji Festival in 1989. He’s with Mulgrew Miller, Don Braden (check out his powerful solo in part one of this YouTube entry), Ira Coleman and Ralph Peterson.