All posts by Derek

Playlist – 04 November 2010

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. 

  1. Takeo Moriyama – Watarase
  2. String Band featuring Isao Suzuki – Nica’s Dream
  3. Michael White –  Fiesta Dominica
  4. Betty Carter – Sounds
  5. Dave Holland Big Band – A Time Remembered
  6. Johnny Blas – Picadillo
  7. McCoy Tyner – Love Surrounds Us Everywhere
  8. Randy Weston – In Memory Of
  9. 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.

Playlist – 21 October 2010

  1. Bahama Social Club – King’s Wig
  2. Build an Ark – a.) How do we end all this madness? b.) Play the music
  3. Sound Advice – Night Thoughts
  4. Giancarlo Barigozzi – Pastoral
  5. The Rhythmatic Orchestra – African Mailman
  6. Sun Ra – The Satellites
  7. Sigurta Casa Grande – Eyes
  8. Jose James – Lay You Down
  9. Lester Bowie – For Fela
  10. Kenny Clarke – Big Bang
  11. George Duke – Sugar Loaf Mountain
  12. Bahama Social Club – Experience in Jazz
  13. Azymuth –  Carambola
  14. Roy Haynes – I’m So High
  15. The Fiction Trio – Haitian Fight Song

Playlist – 07 October 2010

This week Neil was away so it was a solo show from Derek. After the popularity of the title track last week, there was another one from the Randy Weston album Tanjah and a long overdue return to some Japanese jazz. Last week Neil had celebrated Fela Kuti’s birthday with a tune featuring Lester Bowie so this week it was Lester Bowie himself with a tune dedicated to Fela. Equinox and Peace Peace provided beauty and spirituality and there was an acknowledgement of Black History Month through Horace Parlan’s Home is Africa and Our Roots Began in Africa from Pharaoh Sanders.

  1. Lester Bowie – For Fela
  2. Maki Mannami – Stupid Girl
  3. What’s Up – I’ll Never Forget You
  4. John Coltrane – Equinox
  5. Bill Evans – Peace Peace
  6. Randy Weston – Jamaica East
  7. Horace Parlan – Home is Africa
  8. Nation of Multiverse feat. Monday Michiru – Butterfly
  9. Mario Biondi – Rio de Janeiro Blues
  10. Alice Coltrane feat. Pharaoh Sanders – Blue Nile
  11. John Surman – Dance
  12. Pharoah Sanders – Our Roots Began in Africa

The video this week is for Derek – It’s Italian vocalist Mario Biondi with This is What You Are:

Playlist – 15th July 2010

A solo show from Derek tonight with a varied selection, including another track from our featured album Bitches Brew.  For more on this contemporary jazz masterpiece, see the feature elsewhere on Cosmic Jazz.

  1. Art Blakey – Dat Dere
  2. Jackie McLean – Hootnan
  3. Horace Parlan – The Book’s Beat
  4. Rosa Passos – Lobo Bobo
  5. Jimmy Scott – They Say It’s Wonderful
  6. Eddie Harris – Freedom Jazz Dance
  7. Quasimode – Last Nine Days
  8. Henry Threadgill – Bermuda Blues
  9. Gene Ammons – Hittin’ the Jug
  10. Jack Pescod and the Barcode Trio – Coming to Get You
  11. Miles Davis – Miles Runs the Voodoo Down

Our videclip this week features the late and very great Jackie McLean.  Jackie McLean is a favourite alto player here on CJ and we like this contemporary take on Appointment in Ghana from the great Jackie’s Bag album on Blue Note.  Check out Cecil McBee’s bass solo and some typically propulsive piano from McCoy Tyner.

Playlist – 24th June 2010

A solo show from Derek tonight with some classic tracks including the brilliant Black Renaissance, featuring pianist Harry Whitaker.  What is there that hasn’t been said about this classic, recorded on Martin Luther King Day in 1976?  Black Renaissance was almost  lost for good when the master tapes were destroyed in a fire.   It was finally properly released by Ubiquity Records and is now rightly regarded as a bonafide deep jazz masterpiece.  Harry Whitaker, who – amonst other things – played those piano figures on Roy Ayers’ We Live in Brooklyn, Baby, gathered the best of the jazz musicians of his day and laid down just two long tracks that build and grow in an improvisational masterpiece that mixes spiritual soul jazz, poetry, rap and great solos from Azar Lawrence and Woody Shaw, all held together by the elastic bass of Buster Williams.  If you don’t have this album, go out and buy it.  You won’t be disappointed.

  1. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance
  2. Carmen Lundy – All Day All Night
  3. Sadao Watanabe – Vichakani
  4. Jack Pescod & Barcode Trio – Pier
  5. Michael Brecker – Madame Toulouse
  6. Indigo Jam Unit – Pentagram
  7. Max Roach – Members Don’t Git Weary
  8. Gerardo Frisina – Saeta (part one)
  9. Charles Mingus – Theme for Lester Young (aka Goodbye Pork Pie Hat)
  10. John Coltrane – Afro Blue

Playlist – 10 June 2010

Another solo Cosmic Jazz show from Derek but with Neil’s selections in there too.  New music came from two DJ-compiled collections : Gilles Peterson’s Horo – a Jazz Portrait, featuring music from the great Italian label, and Adrian Gibson’s Music for Jazz Dancers, featuring tracks played at his legendary Messin’ Around sessions at London’s Jazz Cafe.

Also on the menu tonight was a great update on the Brazilian classic Nebulosa and a very impressive collaboration between nu soul outfit Fertile Ground and Italian club jazz maestro Nicola Conte.  Enjoy this one – and dance!

  1. Fertile Ground/Nicola Conte – Yellow Daisies
  2. Stafford James – Costa bruciata
  3. Neil Cowley Trio – Stereoface
  4. Wallace Roney – Metropolis
  5. Monica Vasconcelos – A Terceira Margem do Rio
  6. Kenichiro Nishihara – Nebulosa
  7. The Soul Jazz Orchestra – Rejoice Pt. 2
  8. Dan Berglund – Sister Sad
  9. Frank Morgan – Wholey Earth
  10. Horace Silver – Safari
  11. Erik Truffaz – Anil
  12. Lester Bowie – For Fela
  13. Peter Herbolzheimer Combination & Brass (feat. Dianne Reeves) – Cherokee
  14. The Mike Westbrook Concert Band – Waltz (for Joanna)

This week’s video features music from Nicola Conte – his version of the song Sunshine can be found on the Other Directions album.

Oh – and congraluations to Michael Garrick on his well deserved MBE!

Henriksen and Truffaz – two trumpeters in Norwich

Neil has played music by the Norwegian jazz trumpet player Arve Henriksen on  Cosmic Jazz and the tracks he selected have always sounded clear, uplifting and spiritual. So to discover that Arve Henriksen  was booked for  the 2010 Norfolk and Norwich Festival in  the ancient and beautiful setting of Norwich Cathedral  sounded like the perfect match between artist and venue.

The evening was a Friday and one of the first warm nights of the summer, the Cathedral was packed and the music started with a soaring piece featuring Henriksen and sampler/DJ Jan Bang.  Sadly, that was as good as it got.  For the next piece, The Voice Project Choir emerged from the sides with whispering sounds of precious and pretentious intensity that set the tone for the rest of the evening.  They are a local amateur choir and it showed.

Whenever Henriksen played the trumpet the tone was delicate and inspiring, even Middle Eastern flavoured at times.  The pity was the trumpet features were all too rare as he was often on vocals or conducting the choir. The music, although pretty at times, seemed to range from the ancient Christian choral tradition through to jazz and on to contemporary classical.  It was hard to see how lovers of any of these genres would feel satisfied.  There were a significant number of empty seats after the interval, although it must be said many gave rapturous applause at the end.

Eleven days later – on a cold Tuesday evening after the Bank Holiday – there was another trumpeter in Norwich. This time it was French Blue Note recording artist Erik Truffaz, with the beatboxer Sly Johnson and Philiippe Garcia on drums at Norwich Arts Centre. This is a band whose bookings include The Jazz Cafe, the Hay-on Wye Festival and the Brecon Jazz Festival and whose Paris Project CD is released on Blue Note, one of the greatest jazz labels of all time.

There were twenty-five people in the audience…

On the day, tickets had been reduced to £5 only, obviously to little effect. The band came on stage, looked around in bewilderment, and – as Truffaz noted – this was like a private party.

Those of us lucky enough to be at this private party had a rare treat. It was music to stretch and overlap boundaries but in a way that fitted together, in a way that was challenging and in a way that explored the limits of what is jazz. Sly Johnson with occasional vocals – and some sampling but mainly beatbox provided a forceful rhythm section along with the powerful and excellent drummer Philippe Garcia. There was constant engaging and almost playful interplay between the two.

Then there was Erik Truffaz. He was cool and said little. His playing was understated, delicate and precise but still powerful enough to be heard between the drums and the beatbox. On the quietest tune of the evening Goodbye Tomorrow – written by Sly Johnson – his trumpet playing was sheer, soaring, ethereal beauty.  Truffaz sometimes recorded his playing and then played it back; at times he joined with the other tw0 – and sometimes he just sat out.  There were no lavish, demonstrative solos.  There was no need for them.  This was not a night for the traditional jazz journey round the soloists.

But there was lavish applause at the end from all twenty-five of us.  So track down the recordings on Blue Note and if you get a chance to see Truffaz live – don’t pass it up.

Playlist – 27 May 2010

A solo show from Derek as Neil was called away at the last moment.  It did give a chance to include, once again, some Japanese jazz (Indigo Jam Unit and Sadao Watanabe) and some gentle and delicate singing from Brazil (Flora Purim and Rosa Passos).  The day before had been the birthday of Miles Davis so a track from Miles was an obvious choice and the beautiful intensity of Effi by Max Roach from the album Members Don’t Git Weary suggested we should feature this album over the next few weeks.

  1. Miles Davis – Hand Jive (Second Alternate Take)
  2. Indigo Jam Unit – Trailer
  3. Jackie McLean – Action
  4. Sadao Watanabe – Mtoto
  5. Flora Purim – Preciso apprender a ser so
  6. Rosa Passos – E Luxo So
  7. Jose James – Desire (Moodyman remix)
  8. Max Roach – Effi
  9. Roland Kirk – The Call
  10. Lou Donaldson – Gravy Train
  11. Eddie Harris – Listen Here
  12. Dexter Gordon – Soy Califa
  13. The Soul Jazz Orchestra – Mr. President

The video feature this week is Flora Purim in 1969 with an all star lineup for French television – Stan Getz, Stanley Cowell, Miroslav Vitous and Jack de Johnette.  I wonder whether this group ever recorded?  If you know, let us know!

Playlist – 13 May 2010

Derek has been again to that wonderful independent record shop in Norwich – Soundclash Records in St. Benedict’s Street (  It has reggae, it has Latin, it has music from African countries but it also has a superb selection of jazz on vinyl.  What other record shop do you know that has a vinyl section solely dedicated to Sun Ra records?

The latest acquisitions that Derek played this week included a 1973 live recording from Roy Brooks and the Artistic Truth – a band  who used jazz as expression of their Afrikan-American heritage – and a more recent 2008 recording from Germany, by Jerger Kluge’s Deep Jazz.  To prove once again that jazz has a very wide coalition, Derek also added in the new 12″ single from Quantic and his Combo Barbaro.

Spreading the net yet further, Neil added a track from Canada’s Soul Jazz Orchestra, music from Don Cherry and Latif Khan and a Trinidadian steel pan band playing Fela Kuti.  We had a great time on the show this week – and we hope you really enjoy the music.

  1. The Soul Jazz Orchestra – Mamaya
  2. Roy Brooks and the Artistic Truth – Eboness (Kwanza)
  3. Don Cherry and Latif Khan – Air Mail
  4. Lever Brothers Gay Flamingoes – Egbi Me O/Black Man’s Cry
  5. Jerker Kluge’s Deep Jazz – Heaven and Earth
  6. McCoy Tyner – Love Samba
  7. Quantic and Combo Barbaro – New Morning (slow version)
  8. Django Bates – My Little Suede Shoes
  9. Dinah Washington – All of Me
  10. Ahmad Jamal – Footprints
  11. The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Garrison 64
  12. Food – Becalmed
  13. Le Granda Kalle, Don Gonzalo, Manu Dibango – Africa Boogaloo

This week’s video is some rare footage of Don Cherry (surely a world music pioneer?) in concert sometime in the 1960s with South African Johnny Dyani on bass and Turkey’s Okay Temiz on percussion.

Playlist – 29 April 2010

There are times on the radio, as in life, when things somehow do not go quite right.  This was one of those weeks.  It was probably the first time ever that Michael Garrick and the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet have had one of their tunes looped in the radio and it was not because I saw Overtones of a Forgotten Music or Garrison 64 as potential club dance mixes.  The tracklisting on the blog kept mysteriously disappearing and the The Barcode Quartet record – a new white label gift from the father of two band members – was placed in the CD player before I noted its title.

The programme featured music from two continents – Europe and Africa. There were similarities and differences across the continents but there were also similarities and differences among countries within the continents.  Once again the Oscar Sulley and Gyedu-Blay Ambollah showed that you do not need to be classified as a jazz musician to have a jazz sensibility.  From the other continent, Colin Steele of Scotland demonstrated his unique ability to fuse traditional Scottish music with jazz.

Neil will be back next week.  After the events of this week his return will be particularly welcome.

  1. African Jazz Pioneers – Nonto Sangoma
  2. Michael Garrick – Overtones of a Forgotten Music
  3. The Tony Benson Sextet – Ugali
  4. Colin Steele – Bacharach on Loch Winnoch
  5. Mulatu Astatke – Yekatit
  6. Barcode Quartet – Coming to Get You
  7. Abdullah Ibrahim – Whosa Mtwana
  8. Sounds of the Unexpected – Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vorbei
  9. Henri Texier – Go I
  10. Oscar Sulley & the Uhuru Dance Band – Bukom Mashie
  11. Jan Garbarek – All Those Born With Wings, 3rd Piece
  12. Nicola Conte – Nubian Queens
  13. Gyedu-Blay Ambollah & his Creations – Akoko Ba
  14. The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Garrison 64