All posts by Derek

Playlist – 21 April 2011

A solo show from Derek. There was a reflective and spiritual tune from the newly-released Matthew Halsall CD On the Move and one of the best tunes from the new Nostalgia 77 release The Sleep Walking Society. It was too hard to resist the temptation to play once more  Gregory Porter’s 1960 What? There was plenty of cosmic, meditative jazz but with a more upbeat ending to the programme as jazz with a Latin vibe took over.

  1. Donald Byrd – The Emperor
  2. Gregory Porter – 1960 What?
  3. Nostalgia 77 – When Love is Strange
  4. Matthew Halsall – Samatha
  5. Alice Coltrane – Transcendence
  6. Phronesis – Abraham’s New Gift
  7. Pat Metheny – Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
  8. Tito Puente with special guest Maynard Ferguson – Be Bop
  9. Ahmad Jamal Trio – New Rumba
  10. Art Pepper meets the Rhythm Section – Tin Tin Deo

Playlist – 07 April 2011

This week Neil and Derek reveal their No. 1 choices for their Cosmic Jazz Top 5.

  1. Tribe – Beneficent
  2. Joe Henderson – El Barrio
  3. Clifford Jordan – John Coltrane
  4. Charlie Parker – Passport No.1/Passport No.2
  5. Max Grunhard Quintet – Vortex
  6. Nicholas Payton – Fela 2
  7. Walt Dickerson – Death and Taxes
  8. Ronnie Cuber – Song for Pharoah
  9. Jack de Johnette – India
  10. Elis Regina – Roda
  11. Charles Lloyd – Booker’s Garden
  12. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance

And check out this great live 2008 performance from Nicholas Payton. It’s Marcus Gimore on drums and Vincente Archer on bass.

Playlist – 10 March 2011

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…

  1. Sun Ra – Beautiful Love
  2. Yusef Lateef – Psychicemotus
  3. Ornette Coleman Trio – Dee Dee
  4. Henri Texier – The Band Over the Clouds
  5. Chris Potter – Pop Tune
  6. Jef Gilson Septet avec Lloyd Miller – Le Grand Bidou
  7. Austin Peralta – Capricornus
  8. Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Red Fish Blue Fish Dead Fish Same Fish
  9. Robert Glasper Trio – No Worries
  10. Tenorio Jr. – Nebulosa
  11. Brad Mehldau – My Favourite Things
  12. Sarah Vaughan – The Mystery of Man
  13. Airto Moreira & Flora Purim – Anatello
  14. 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):



Playlist – 03 February 2011

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.

  1. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson – Stakes is High
  2. Sonny Rollins – Alfie’s Theme
  3. Hank Mobley – This I Dig of You
  4. Jackie McLean – I’ll Keep Loving You
  5. Steve Williamson – Waltz for Grace
  6. Jaco Pastorius – Opus Pocus
  7. Cleveland Watkiss – Blessing in Disguise
  8. Miles Davis – Ife (live)
  9. Max Roach – Effi
  10. Kenny Garrett – Lonnie’s Lament
  11. Hank Mobley – Soul Station
  12. Weather Report – Black Market (live)
  13. Babatunde Lea – March of the Jazz Guerrillas
  14. 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:

And in contrast, here’s Weather Report featuring Wayne Shorter with an interesting take on Johnny Mercers standard Midnight Sun recorded live in Germany in 1978.  Enjoy!

Playlist – 20 January 2011

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.

  1. Vijay Iyer – Human Nature
  2. Albert Ayler – Zion Hill (alternative take)
  3. Manuel Valera – Home
  4. Wendell Harrison – Tons and Tons of BS
  5. Masabumi Kikuchi – New Native
  6. Max Grundhard – Vortex
  7. Julius Hemphill – Kansas City Line
  8. Gideon Van Gelder – Wave
  9. Pat Martino – Baiyina
  10. Peter Fish – Friend and Lover
  11. Gato Barbieri – Milonga Triste
  12. Charles Earland – Cosmic Fever
  13. 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.

Playlist – 13 January 2011

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.

  1. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance
  2. Peter Fish – The Silver Apple
  3. Billy Gault – Mode For Trane
  4. The Joe Harriott Quintet – Tonal
  5. Santucci Scoppa – Transitions
  6. Eddie Harris – Free Speech
  7. Lloyd McNeill Quartet – St. Margaret’s Church
  8. Erik Truffaz – Saraswati
  9. Dave Valentin – Cinnamon and Clove

Playlist – 06 January 2011

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.

  1. Conrad Herwig – Ping Pong
  2. Lloyd McNeill Quartet – Asha
  3. Marcus Belgrave – Space Odyssey
  4. Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – Motherhood
  5. Pharoah Sanders – Healing Song (live)
  6. Quasimode – Take the New Frontiers (cosmic triangulation in G minor mix)
  7. Gideon van Gelder – Moonstone
  8. Abbey Lincoln – The Music is the Magic
  9. Christian Scott – After All
  10. David Sanchez – Tu y Mi Cancion
  11. Babatunde Lea – Baldwin’s Fire
  12. Cassandra Wilson (feat. Angelique Kidjo) – Voodoo Reprise
  13. Harry Beckett – Facing It

Playlist – 25th November 2010

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.

  1. Black Renaissance – Magic Ritual
  2. Steve Reid – Lions of Judah
  3. Andrea Pozza Trio – Nebulosa
  4. Bobby Hutcherson – Black Heroes
  5. Train Up – What is Wrong with Grooving
  6. Chico Hamilton – Strut
  7. Joe Henderson – Foregone Conclusion
  8. Ronnie Ross – Cleopatra’s Needle
  9. Colin Steele – Variation on a Dream
  10. Jazz Jamaica – Footprints
  11. Dee Dee Bridgewater – Soulville
  12. Don Drummond – Thoroughfare
  13. Rusty Bryant –  Wildfire
  14. Dave Brubeck – Unsquare Dance

Playlist – 18 November 2010

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…

  1. Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack
  2. The Bennie Maupin Ensemble – Walter Bishop
  3. Teruo Nakamura – Unicorn Lady
  4. Sadao Watanabe – Paysages
  5. Miles Davis – It’s About That Time
  6. Bahama Social Club – King’s Wig
  7. JFR Quintet – Nairoo
  8. Mario Bondi – This is What You Are
  9. Archie Shepp – Syeeda’s Song Flute
  10. Yusef Lateef – Oscaralypso
  11. Sonny Rollins – The Cutting Edge
  12. Horace Parlan – The Book’s Beat
  13. 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.