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.
Build an Ark – Celebrate
Eddie Palmieri – Spirit of Love
Joyce and Tutty Moreno – April Child
Fania All Stars – Coro Kuyare
Gabor Szabo – Walking on Nails
Harold Alexander – Mama Soul
Willie Bobo – How Can I Say Goodbye
Rongetz Foundation feat. Gregory Porter – Gogo Soul
Chester Thompson – Weird Harold
Pazant Brothers & the Beaufort Express – Mboga Chakula (Greasy Greens)
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.
Patrice Rushen – Shortie’s Portion
Azar Lawrence – Novo Ano
Azanyah – I Will Surely Come Again
Pharoah Sanders – Thembi
Steve Tromans/J.J Wheeler – Blue Room
Sun Ra – Images
Val Bennett – Take Five (AKA the Russians are Coming)
Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Erikah Badu – Afro Blue
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.
Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Again, Again
Ron Horton – Yellow Violet
Steve Lehman Trio – Moment’s Notice
Vijay Iyer Trio – Bode
Patrice Rushen – Shortie’s Portion
Pangaea – Homeboys
Horace Silver – Song for my Father
Bobby Matos & John Santos – Nueva Diana
Sun Ra – Aiethiopia
Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – The Minstrel
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.
Phil Cohran & Legacy – White Nile
Jack Pescod & Barcode Trio – Coming to get You
Matthew Halsall – Colour Yes
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidanada
C harles Lloyd Quartet – Rabo de Nube
The Apples – Elias
Sun Ra & his Outer Space Arkestra – Nuclear War
Hugh Lecane – Dripsody
Yuko Fujiyama Quartet – Mr. Kim
Sparklehorse feat. David Lynch – Dark Night of the Soul
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).
Emanative (feat. Matthew Halsall) – Find You
Michael L Roberts – Chameleon
Yuko Fujimaya Quintet – If Words
Babatunde Olatunji – Jolly Mensah
Ebo Taylor – Heaven
Conjure – Mo Ku Lana, Mo Jinde Loni
Steve Coleman and Five Elements – Destination
Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden – Alone Together
The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Zen is When
Bobby Hutcherson – Yuyo
Hajime Yoshizawa – Open Door
Marcus Miller – Full Nelson
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.
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!
Popol Vuh – Aguirre 1/Sun Ra – Intensity
Sun Ra and his Arkestra – Space is the Place
Salah Ragab – A Tribute to Sun Ra
Sun Ra – Discipline No. 10
Steve Reid – Center of the Earth
Sun Ra and his Solar-Myth Arkestra – Adventures of Bugs Hunter
Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra – UFO
Sun Ra – Foggy Day
John Cage – Sonata 1/Julian Priester – Prologue/Love, Love
Sun Ra and his Outer Space Arkestra – Nuclear War
Sun Ra and his Intergalaxtic Arkestra – Someday My Prince Will Come
Sun Ra – Mayan Temple
Sun Ra Quartet – Springtime and Summer Idyll
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:
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.
Joe Lovano – Passport
Gregory Porter – Magic Cup
McCoy Tyner – Mes Trois Fils
Kurt Elling – Matte Kudasai
Sun Ra – Where Pathways Meet
Sean Hutchinson’s Still Life – Treat Me Like Train Tracks
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.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Exercising (Horsepower remix)
Finn Peters – Sleep Music 1
Mark Murphy – The Interview
Sergio Mendes and Bossa Rio – Primitivo
Joni Mitchell – Coyote
Sun Ra Arkestra – Mayan Temples
Phronesis – Happy Notes
Enrico Pieranunzi – Ev’rything I Love
Elis Regina – Roda
Pharoah Sanders – Ole
Zimbo Trio – Zimbo Samba
Mother Earth – Look to the Light
Marcus Miller – Rush Over
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.
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!
Sun Ra – Heliocentric
Michael White – Fiesta Dominica
Jason Moran – Big Stuff
Masa Sextet – The Hard Blues
Wayne Shorter – Super Nova
Phronesis – Eight Hours
Our Cry for Peace feat. The Voice of Dwight Trible and members of Build an Ark – John Coltrane
Elvin Jones – Pollen
Hank Mobley – Straight Ahead
Finn Peters – Butterflies
Kenny Barron – Mythology
John Coltrane – Dahomey Dance
Wynton Marsalis – Doin’ (Y)our Thing
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: