Tag Archives: Sun Ra

Playlist – 13 September 2012

Cosmic Jazz this week saw the return of DJs and rare groove vinyl addicts Alex and Palmer. Catch up with the programme on Listen Again and you will be saying “I’ve never heard that before –  how can I get hold of it?” If so, make sure your pockets are deep because finding this music does not come cheap. Tonight was jazz without frontiers, music with a multitude of messages, and tunes from the treasure trove of specialist vinyl hunters and gatherers. Expect to hear at least one piece of vinyl (but probably more) that you need to track down. This is one CJ you cannot afford to miss so go to Listen Again now and check out the music.

Cosmic Jazz listeners should know that Palmer now has his own show on ICR between 14;00 and 16:oo on Wednesday afternoons and – of course – on Listen Again. There is soul, funk, hip-hop as well as jazz and jazz-related music but anyone with the CJ vibe will enjoy the music.

  1. Build an Ark – Celebrate
  2. Eddie Palmieri – Spirit of Love
  3. Joyce and Tutty Moreno – April Child
  4. Fania All Stars – Coro Kuyare
  5. Gabor Szabo – Walking on Nails
  6. Harold Alexander – Mama Soul
  7. Willie Bobo – How Can I Say Goodbye
  8. Rongetz Foundation feat. Gregory Porter – Gogo Soul
  9. Chester Thompson – Weird Harold
  10. Pazant Brothers & the Beaufort Express – Mboga Chakula (Greasy Greens)
  11. Ana Mazzoti – Lo Sono Lo
  12. Kornet – Djartantan
  13. Gal Costa – Flo De Maracuja
  14. Jack Wilkins – Red Clay
  15. Mark Murphy – Red Clay
  16. Sun Ra – Astro Black
  17. Randy Weston – Marrakesh Blues
  18. Carmen Lundy – Time is Love
  19. Horace Silver – Won’t You Open up your Senses
  20. Gene Harris – Los AlamitosLatinFunkLoveSong

Playlist – 16 August 2012

Neil is back in China so it was a solo show from Derek. Following Neil’s tribute last week Derek made his acknowledgement of 50 years of Jamaican independence with Val Bennett’s version of the Dave Brubeck classic Take Five.

Derek found on his return to the ICR office a CD from Birmingham-based jazz musician and writer Steve Tromans. There was not time to listen properly in advance, but the title track of the CD Blue Room was given an airing and sounded interesting. There will be more from release this in future shows. The tune fitted well with the spiritual quality of the pieces from Azanyah and Pharoah Sanders – especially with a jet-lagged Derek feeling the need for some calm.

There was still a place for funky jazz from Patrice Rushen, Brazilian-tinged jazz from Azar Lawrence and recent material from the wonderful Esperanza Spalding, the cool Robert Glasper and that much-loved Cosmic Jazz favourite Carmen Lundy.

  1. Patrice Rushen – Shortie’s Portion
  2. Azar Lawrence – Novo Ano
  3. Azanyah – I Will Surely Come Again
  4. Pharoah Sanders – Thembi
  5. Steve Tromans/J.J Wheeler – Blue Room
  6. Sun Ra – Images
  7. Val Bennett – Take Five (AKA the Russians are Coming)
  8. Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Erikah Badu – Afro Blue
  9. Carmen Lundy – Love Thy Neighbor
  10. Esperanza Spalding feat. Algebra Blessed & Lionel Loueke – Black Gold
  11. McCoy Tyner – African Village

Playlist – 24 May 2012

This week’s CJ features some New York sounds, a spatial journey or two and possibly the CJ favourite. The programme kicked off with four great contemporary New York jazz tracks, including another from the new release by Vijay Iyer. This album features original compositions by Iyer, new readings of ‘out there’ jazz by the likes of Henry Threadgill and Iyer’s take on Michael Jackson’s Human Nature and Rod Temperton’s The Star of the Story.

There was more from Patrice Rushen, a taste of the master of ‘out thereness’, Sun Ra, and the show ended with the eponymous Black Renaissance, a masterwork from pianist and arranger Harry Whitaker and – in our view – of the most inspiring jazz compositions ever recorded.

  1. Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Again, Again
  2. Ron Horton – Yellow Violet
  3. Steve Lehman Trio – Moment’s Notice
  4. Vijay Iyer Trio – Bode
  5. Patrice Rushen – Shortie’s Portion
  6. Pangaea – Homeboys
  7. Horace Silver – Song for my Father
  8. Bobby Matos & John Santos – Nueva Diana
  9. Sun Ra – Aiethiopia
  10. Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – The Minstrel
  11. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance

Playlist – 08 September 2011

A joyful, lively and entertaining encounter with  Cad, another ICR presenter, as guest. Cad was there to persuade local listeners to ICR to go to Felixstowe on 23 September to see Michael Nyman. Her theory was that anyone who likes jazz and has an open musical mind will enjoy the evening.

The session was eclectic but for the most part contemplative, even spiritual. Only at the end was the tempo raised. It was fun to do and and the intrigue was all the greater as I was never sure what tune Cad would choose next. Derek tried to fit in with the mood and the tone was set by the first tune of the session. Derek has acquired another Phil Cohran CD and played White Nile from it. There will be more next week.

  1. Phil Cohran & Legacy – White Nile
  2. Jack Pescod & Barcode Trio – Coming to get You
  3. Matthew Halsall – Colour Yes
  4. Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidanada
  5. C harles Lloyd Quartet – Rabo de Nube
  6. The Apples – Elias
  7. Sun Ra & his Outer Space Arkestra – Nuclear War
  8. Hugh Lecane – Dripsody
  9. Yuko Fujiyama Quartet – Mr. Kim
  10. Sparklehorse feat. David Lynch – Dark Night of the Soul
  11. Maestro Garofalo – These Notes
  12. Yusef Lateef – Brother John

Playlist – 16 June 2011

What a show tonight! Two exclusives: the first from Emanative featuring Matthew Halsall and the second a class treatment of Chameleon from new vocalese master Michael L Roberts. No time for JD Allen and Matana Roberts this week – so that’s all in next week’s promising line up. Instead we had Conjure and Steve Coleman (twenty years apart but with real soundlinks), Debussyish melodies from Dave Brubeck and the subtle alto tapestry of Lee Konitz. We romped home to the finish with Japanese jazzrock (Yoshizawa), the 1980s revisited (Marcus Miller) and Sun Ra in a ZAP! KAPOW! finish.

And don’t worry – it really is Cosmic Jazz, even though the show appears to begin with Erykah Badu this week. 03:10mins in you’ll get Emanative/Matthew Halsall – stunning sounds to begin the show… Checkout Emamative’s blog on our links (right).

  1. Emanative (feat. Matthew Halsall) – Find You
  2. Michael L Roberts – Chameleon
  3. Yuko Fujimaya Quintet – If Words
  4. Babatunde Olatunji – Jolly Mensah
  5. Ebo Taylor – Heaven
  6. Conjure – Mo Ku Lana, Mo Jinde Loni
  7. Steve Coleman and Five Elements – Destination
  8. Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden – Alone Together
  9. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Zen is When
  10. Bobby Hutcherson – Yuyo
  11. Hajime Yoshizawa – Open Door
  12. Marcus Miller – Full Nelson
  13. Sun Ra and the Blues Project – Batman and Robin Over the Roofs

More on the last track tonight. Here’s the story: sometime in 1966, producer Tom Wilson persuaded Sun Ra and members of his band (John Gilmore and Marshall Allen on tenor and alto, Pat Patrick on bass, and Jimmy Owens and Tom McIntosh on trumpet and trombone) and the members of the Blues Project, (which may or may not have included Al Kooper) to lay down 35 minutes of music for a Batman and Robin album credited to The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale. It was a quickie exploitation effort sponsored by some toy company in New Jersey (where these sessions were cut) intended to sell some dance music for discotheques and parties by cashing in on the craze surrounding the Batman television program. The album, showing the Caped Crusader and his partner swinging down on bat-ropes, has been a denizen of dollar-record bins and nostalgia shows for decades, and just happens to feature some of the hottest musicians in New York City. Batman and Robin Over the Roofs features Jimmy Owens prominently, along with Sun Ra and the two guitarists (Steve Katz and Danny Kalb) in the longest jam on the record.

What’s even more fun is that, apart from the Neal Hefti Batman Theme, everything is public domain blues built on some familiar material – including Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Bach. One cut, appropriately entitled The Riddler’s Retreat, quotes riffs and phrases from a half-dozen Beatles songs, and another (The Bat Cave) is this group’s answer to Green Onions. Along with Sun Ra, who dominates every passage he plays on, Steve Katz and Danny Kalb are the stars here, romping and stomping over everything as they weave around each other, while Gilmore, Allen, and Owens step up to the plate when needed. It’s all great fun – and well worth a listen. Download from iTunes because buying the product (vinyl or CD) will cost you.

Playlist – 26 May 2011

Wow – we’ve not had a show like this for a while! In the end this was very much Sun Ra’s show – Miles will happen next week. We celebrated what would have beeen the 97th birthday of jazz’s greatest cosmic voyager and explored the music’s final frontier.

We played tracks from Steve Reid, John Cage, Salah Ragab and Julian Priester, but really this was all about Sunny Blount, the man from Saturn who called himself Sun Ra.

If you missed the show and want to catch up then Listen Again from Monday. But fasten your seat belts – it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

  1. Popol Vuh – Aguirre 1/Sun Ra – Intensity
  2. Sun Ra and his Arkestra – Space is the Place
  3. Salah Ragab – A Tribute to Sun Ra
  4. Sun Ra – Discipline No. 10
  5. Steve Reid – Center of the Earth
  6. Sun Ra and his Solar-Myth Arkestra – Adventures of Bugs Hunter
  7. Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra – UFO
  8. Sun Ra – Foggy Day
  9. John Cage – Sonata 1/Julian Priester – Prologue/Love, Love
  10. Sun Ra and his Outer Space Arkestra – Nuclear War
  11. Sun Ra and his Intergalaxtic Arkestra – Someday My Prince Will Come
  12. Sun Ra – Mayan Temple
  13. Sun Ra Quartet – Springtime and Summer Idyll
  14. Sun Ra and his Intergalaxtic Arkestra – Whistle While You Work

Video this week has to be from Sun Ra. The first clip is the opening of Space is the Place, a 1972 film about Sun Ra and his world. These two minutes give you some idea of what was going on the mind of this intergalactic maverick!

In the show, we referred to the meeting between John Cage and Sun Ra. The two performed ‘together’ in 1986 at Coney Island, New York in two separate sets. The result was recorded and released on this long out-of-print album. You can download the album here.

Finally, here’s some rare video footage of Sun Ra and the Arkestra at Giza – the music is Watusa in a version from the Space is the Place soundtrack album:


Playlist – 31 March 2011

New music this week from Joe Lovano and Kurt Elling and some more Matthew Halsall after his highly successful show at The Cut in Halesworth. We’re at No 2 in our 5 x 2 top ten countdown – and a feature about both tracks will appear within the week. Neil chose John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme Pt. 1 Acknowledgement and Derek could equally have chosen John Coltrane but went for a long-established Cosmic Jazz favourite, Carmen Lundy’s You’re Not in Love.

Although it wasn’t planned, the show settled into a deeply spiritual vibe early on – signals included McCoy Tyner and Sun Ra with the first movement of John Coltrane’s immortal A Love Supreme sealing the sound. Impressed with Matt Halsall’s covers of Alice Coltrane’s Journey to Satchidananda and Clifford Jordan’s heartfelt John Coltrane we ended the show with these tracks.

In between were Nat Birchall and Bheli Mseluku – see last week’s comments for details of why. If you’ve got some thoughts on the music, use our comments facility below.

  1. Joe Lovano – Passport
  2. Gregory Porter – Magic Cup
  3. McCoy Tyner – Mes Trois Fils
  4. Kurt Elling – Matte Kudasai
  5. Sun Ra – Where Pathways Meet
  6. Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Treat Me Like Train Tracks
  7. Carmen Lundy – You’re Not in Love
  8. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (Acknowledgement)
  9. Matthew Halsall – Colour Yes
  10. Nat Birchall – Open Up the Gates
  11. Bheki Mseleku – Celebration
  12. Pharoah Sanders – Black Unity
  13. Clifford Jordan Quartet – John Coltrane

Playlist – 17 February 2011

We pushed the boundaries in all directions this week on Cosmic Jazz.  Music from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Joni Mitchell, Mark Murphy, Wadada Leo Smith and so much more.  Pure earfood for the discerning listener.

  1. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Exercising (Horsepower remix)
  2. Finn Peters – Sleep Music 1
  3. Mark Murphy – The Interview
  4. Sergio Mendes and Bossa Rio – Primitivo
  5. Joni Mitchell – Coyote
  6. Sun Ra Arkestra – Mayan Temples
  7. Phronesis – Happy Notes
  8. Enrico Pieranunzi – Ev’rything I Love
  9. Elis Regina – Roda
  10. Pharoah Sanders – Ole
  11. Zimbo Trio – Zimbo Samba
  12. Mother Earth – Look to the Light
  13. Marcus Miller – Rush Over
  14. Wadada Leo Smith – Rosa Parks

And how about this – your chance to win a signed white label copy of Cusp, the new album from Robert Mitchell’s Panacea group.  Listen out for the question on tonight’s show for your chance to win!

Videoclip this week is from the Zimbo Trio – great Brazilian jazz over a 40 album history.  We featured the classic Zimbo Samba this week on the show – check out the Bossa Nova Soul Jazz compilation.


The final lineup for this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival has just been announced.  It looks sensational – get the full brochure here – and start booking!

Finally – for adventurous ears, try this.  Gil Scott Heron’s collaboration with Jamie Smith of the XX is not jazz – but it is brilliant.

Playlist – 27 January 2011

Welcome to another week of inspirational music.  More from Jason Moran’s poll-winning 10, great Sun Ra from the reissued Heliocentric Worlds and – to celebrate the the newly announced concert double bill of Wayne Shorter with Phronesis in October – tracks from both artists.

Also on the show tonight – new Japanese jazz thanks to Jacob, our man in Tokyo (spiritually, anyway), a bunch of Blue Notes, Coltrane on Atlantic along with a Coltrane tribute from LA’s finest – and British flautist Finn Peters in gamelan mode.

What else could it be other than the always eclectic sound of CJ – enjoy!

  1. Sun Ra – Heliocentric
  2. Michael White – Fiesta Dominica
  3. Jason Moran – Big Stuff
  4. Masa Sextet – The Hard Blues
  5. Wayne Shorter – Super Nova
  6. Phronesis – Eight Hours
  7. Our Cry for Peace feat. The Voice of Dwight Trible and members of Build an Ark – John Coltrane
  8. Elvin Jones – Pollen
  9. Hank Mobley – Straight Ahead
  10. Finn Peters – Butterflies
  11. Kenny Barron – Mythology
  12. John Coltrane – Dahomey Dance
  13. Wynton Marsalis – Doin’ (Y)our Thing
  14. Jay Dee – Rico Suave Bossa Nova

This week’s video has to be saxophone legend Wayne Shorter, here performing Masquelero with a recent quartet, including the sensational Brian Blades on drums.  Apologies for the ‘watery’ sound quality on this one: