Tag Archives: Miles Davis

Playlist – 28 July 2011

Neil’s back! Following two great shows from Derek, the challenge is on… We started with a classic Emanative track and some neglected Rhodes wizardry from RAD before diving into the electronics and dub of new Loop outfit Ma.

A Keith Jarrett feature celebrating his return to London’s Royal Festival Hall last night included the first recording of the Standards Trio’s take on God Bless the Child, reprised as one of four encores at the RFH.

There was also time for more outer edge stuff from Edward Larry Gordon and Miles Davis and some dubby weirdness from Bugge Wesseltoft guesting with fellow Finns the Mungolian Jet Set. It’s all part of the mix that makes Cosmic Jazz so unique – enjoy…

  1. Emanative feat. Ahu – Turn Your Lights On
  2. RAD – Fela
  3. Ma – We Need Two
  4. Scientist vs Shackleton – Marshes Dub
  5. Mungolian Jet Set – Close Encounters of the Mung Kind/Inexpired Pyro: What Took You So Long?
  6. Arve Henriksen – Migration
  7. Harmonia and Eno – Atmosphere/The Necks – Fatal
  8. Robert Mitchell 3io – Third Stream
  9. Keith Jarrett – The Windup
  10. Keith Jarrett – Silence
  11. Keith Jarrett – God Bless the Child
  12. Edward Larry Gordon – All Pervading
  13. Erik Truffaz – Yay!
  14. Miles Davis (reconstructed by Bill Laswell) – Agharta Dub
  15. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Cay’s Crays

Video this week has to reflect the Keith Jarrett Trio’s performance at the RFH. Here they are with an amazing take on You Don’t Know What Love Is. Breathtaking…



Playlist – 02 June 2011

The programme this week had to include a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron – four tracks to start you off with representations of all periods of his musical career. There was also a tribute to Lloyd Knibbs – drummer with the Skatellites – to show how jazz influenced other musical genres. And we prove the point further with a great track from Ghanaian Ebo Taylor. Listen up, too,  for a scorching piece from the Prince Lasha Quintet featuring Sonny Simmons, a  quintet with two bass players (Gary Peacock and Mark Proctor).

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the live Cosmic Jazz bash at Bar Brasilia on Friday night. A sensational evening with a superb sound system and a great crowd dancing to a mix of Japanese club jazz, Brazilian house and even Ethiopian treasures from Mulatu Astatqe! It all came together on the dancefloor. We’ll be back…

  1. Gil Scott Heron – Free Will
  2. Gil Scott Heron – Spirits
  3. Gil Scott Heron – Lady Day and John Coltrane
  4. Gil Scott Heron – I’ll Take Care of You
  5. The Skatalites – Addis Ababa
  6. Dub Colossus – Uptown Top Ranking
  7. Charles Gayle – Jericho
  8. Miles Davis – Chieftain/Miles Davis – It’s About That Time (remix)
  9. Miles Davis – Boplicity
  10. James Farm – 1981
  11. Prince Lasha Quintet (feat. Sonny Simmons) – Congo Call
  12. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Big BW
  13. Ebo Taylor – Atwer Abroba
  14. Wadada Leo Smith – The Majestic Way
  15. Albert Ayler – Zion Hill (alternate take)
  16. Lloyd Miller and the Heliocentrics – Electricone
  17. Jabberloop – The Art of Blakey
  18. Frank Zappa – It Must Be a Camel

Video this week also features Gil Scott Heron, as charismatic in live performance as on record. Here he is in the official studio video for I’m New Here, the title track on his welcome return to the recording studio in 2009. Just look at the smile as he sings the last lines…

And take a look at Winter in America from the London show in 1990 – check out the spoken intro…




Playlist – 19 May 2010

More great new music this week on Cosmic Jazz. We started with vocalist Kurt Elling and kept the music straightahead throughout with only the radicalism of Horace Tapscott  and a short trip to Brazil to break the flow. With a couple of Charlie Parker tunes, some classic Miles and Roy Haynes’ take on Coltrane’s Mr PC this was a show in the jazz tradition. Check out the music on Listen Again and let us know what you think.

  1. Kurt Elling – Undun
  2. Charles Lloyd – Rabo de Nube
  3. Roy Haynes – Mr PC
  4. Cha Cha Shaw – Kid Zaro
  5. Chet Baker and Art Pepper Sextet – CTA
  6. Miles Davis – Miles
  7. Charlie Haden and Quartet West – Relaxin’ at Camarillo
  8. Lonnie Smith – Son of Ice Bag
  9. Horace Tapscott – The Dark Tree
  10. The Blue Note 7 – Mosaic
  11. Joe Lovano Us Five – Koko
  12. Tamba Trio – Influencia do Jazz
  13. Bill Evans Trio – I Will Say Goodbye

Videoclip this week comes from Charlie Haden and his Quartet West – check out that bass tone!


Playlist – 24 March 2011

More great music this week’s: another new Mathew Hallsall track, a special mix from last month’s missing show, a dubwise pairing of Cedric Im Brooks and Little Axe, a track from the sensational new release from Jeremy Pelt and an electrifying Miles Davis set from the Isle of Wight in 1970.

And it’s week three in our countdown of top five jazz tracks – one from Derek and one from Neil. This week it’s nu-jazz trumpet classic and an early ethno-jazz exploration – check out the playlist below for more details and look out for another short feature on both tracks coming soon on the site.

Could you really ask for more? Only on Cosmic Jazz – and if you missed the show, just wait 24 hours or so for Listen Again.

  1. Tangerine Dream – Ziet/Miles Davis – Hip-Skip
  2. Matthew Halsall – The Journey Home
  3. John McLaughlin – Peace One
  4. Donald Fagen – I.G.Y
  5. Erik Truffaz – Siegfried
  6. Cedric Im Brooks – Silent Force
  7. Little Axe – Going Down Slow (dub version)
  8. John Hassall – Abu Gil/Terje Rypdal – Ghostdancing
  9. Joe Henderson – Y Ya La Quiero
  10. George Benson – Ready and Able
  11. Jeremy Pelt – Paradise Lost
  12. Miles Davis – It’s About That Time
  13. Roy Haynes – Dorian
  14. Matthew Halsall – Music for a Dancing Mind
  15. Loleatta Holloway – Hit and Run

And here’s the videoclip back again after last week’s omission. Check out Joe Henderson live in Germany in 1994 with his version of Blue Bossa. Al Foster is on drums and (I think) George Mraz on bass – but I can’t identify the pianist. Any ideas?




Playlist – 03 March 2011

Cosmic Jazz welcomed back Derek this week so it was our usual jazz pingpong… We never know what we’ll be playing from the boxes we bring in: it’s the sounds that shape our choices and the direction of the show is usually determined on the night (but see below!).

We managed to squeeze in a bit of the new release from Brad Mehldau at the end of the show – more next week from this live double CD/DVD combination. With the Black Unity track from Pharoah Sanders we dipped into the theme for next week – our favourite cosmic jazz sounds. That’s not simply our favourite jazz but the music that best epitomises the Cosmic Jazz vibe. We’ve each chosen five tracks and you’ll hear all of them next week on the show.

Now, if you have any favourite tracks that best capture the cosmic/spiritual jazz tip then let us know.

  1. Miles Davis – Konda
  2. Babatunde Lea – March of the Jazz Guerillas
  3. Dave Douglas – Posies
  4. Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble – Parce Mihi Dominie
  5. Bugge Wesseltoft – Change
  6. Hector Costita Sexteto – Tokio
  7. McCoy Tyner – Passion Dance (live)
  8. Hal Singer & Jef Gilson – Chant Inca
  9. Matthew Halsall – Colour Yes
  10. Pharoah Sanders – Black Unity
  11. Bossa Jazz Trio – Maria Moita
  12. David Murray Octet – Santa Barbara and Crenshaw Follies
  13. Harry Beckett – Rolli’s Tune
  14. Brad Mehldau – Lithium

With the focus on Miles Davis and his 1970s music in recent weeks, it seems a good time to promote this piece of concert footage. Not for the fainthearted, here’s Miles at his wildest and most electric wowing them live in Berlin in 1973:

Playlist – 24 February 2011

Eclectic electronica tonight on Cosmic Jazz. We started with where we left off last week – Wadada Leo Smith’s Rosa Parks and then quickly it was into an exclusive.  Thanks to the great Destination Out site, we gave a first play of an unreleased Miles Davis track from 1975, recorded in Shinjuku Kohseinenkin Hall in Tokyo – just ten days before the material that would appear on Agharta and Pangea.

Music too as promised from Brad Mehldau and Jamie XX Smith – plus Wibute, Kieran Hebden and Dave Douglas.  It was live here on CJ – but if you missed it, wait for Listen Again at the weekend.

  1. Wadada Leo Smith – Rosa Parks
  2. Miles Davis – Hip-Skip
  3. Herbie Hancock – Nobu
  4. Wibute – First There Was Jazz 2
  5. Jon Hassell – Abu Gil/Terje Rypdal – Ghostdancing
  6. Dave Douglas – Moonshine
  7. EST – Dolores in a Shoestand (live)
  8. Keiran Hebden and Steve Reid – The Sun Never Sets
  9. Roedelius – Puente
  10. Brad Mehldau – Secret Love (live)
  11. Jason Moran – To Bob Vatel of Paris
  12. Polar Bear – The Love Didn’t Go Anywhere
  13. Matthew Herbert Big Band – Stationary
  14. Jamie XX Smith/Gil Scott Heron – I’ll Take Care of You

Playlist – 10 February 2011

Cosmic Jazz dug deeper into the jazz crates to find more of Kevin LeGendre’s best  albums of the last 35 years – check out Echoes magazine this month for details.  We featured music from Henry Threadgill, Kenny Wheeler, Miles Davis and and more.

There was also time for three great female jazz vocalists, two classics from Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane and a riotous end to the show from Charlie Mingus.

  1. Masa Sextet – Music is the Healing Force of the Universe
  2. Wayne Shorter – Children of the Night
  3. Cassandra Wilson – Love is Blindness
  4. Mina Agossi – Closer to Me
  5. Carmen Lundy – You’re Not in Love
  6. Sonny Rollins – Alfie’s Theme
  7. John Coltrane – Song of the Underground Railroad
  8. Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus – Exacto
  9. Kenny Wheeler – Angel Song
  10. Nicole Conte – Rituals
  11. Miles Davis – Full Nelson
  12. Ramsey Lewis – The ‘In’ Crowd
  13. Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
  14. Charles Mingus – Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting

Video this week is Miles Davis live in 1986 performing Full Nelson and showcasing Kenny Garrett on alto saxophone.


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 – 23 December 2010

Welcome to part two of the best of 2010.  It’s the usual eclectic range of music including great new tracks from the likes of William Parker and Jason Moran, some intelligent jazz and latin remixes and a slew of essential reissues.

  1. Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer theme
  2. John Thorne/Danny Thompson – The Light that Guides/Floating Points Ensemble – Post Suite
  3. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Phobos
  4. William Parker – Freddie’s Dead
  5. Stafford James – Costa Bruciata
  6. The Modern Jazz Quartet – The Jasmin Tree
  7. Booker Little Quartet – Opening Statement
  8. Miles Davis – Concert on the Runway
  9. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (feat. Dwele) – Angel
  10. Jason Moran – Blue Blocks
  11. Mulatu Astatke – The Way to Nice
  12. RSL – Wesley Music
  13. Jam da Silva – Mania
  14. Roberto Fonseca – Mami (Edgaro el Productor en Jefe Tropicalia remix)
  15. Food – Chimaera
  16. Miles Davis – John McLaughlin
  17. Finn Peters – Agitation
  18. Chuck Brown – Moody’s Mood

The Youtube video is back and there’s two to watch this week. First up is pianist Jason Moran and his own composition Thelonius followed by Le Poisson Rouge from Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.

Best of 2010

As in 2009, our Best of 2010 features the same eclectic mix that characterizes the show each week. We don’t have a prearranged playlist and we have always played whatever we like. As we noted in the 2009 review, “jazz is about how the music feels and sounds rather than whether it meets any restricted definition of what jazz might or might not be.” Each of these releases feature music we will come back to again and again in 2011.

So let’s start at the top. For me, the most outstanding jazz release of the year has to be Charles Lloyd’s career-defining Mirror. It’s an enigmatic title for an uncharacteristically straightforward trawl through old favourites like The Water is Wide, some quirky new covers like Brian Wilson’s Caroline, No and –for the first time on a Lloyd album – Tagi, a spoken word meditation on life and philosophy. What makes the album so successful is Lloyd’s current quartet, a line-up that is so symbiotically welded to Lloyd’s understanding of what he wants from the music that we hear perfection at almost every turn of this ECM disc. Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland are the perfect foils to Lloyd’s tone which just exudes warmth and gravitas in equal measure.

Second up is the third outing for Phronesis, the trio led by bassist Jasper Hoiby. Alive is indeed a live recording from the Forge Arts Centre in Camden, London. All tracks are by Hoiby and the beautifully recorded bass led tunes feature terrific interplay between the leader and stand-in drummer Mark Guiliana. Have a listen to Eight Hours for a taste of this Edition Records home-grown triumph.

A discovery for me in 2010 has been the music of pianist Marc Cary. He first came to my attention through the website Breath of Life (check it out via the Cosmic Jazz link). His range is similar to that of another CJ favourite, Robert Glasper – a mix of eclectic cover choices with groove led workouts on his trio recordings together with some Fender Rhodes touches and – with other groups – rap and spoken word elements too. This year Focus Trio Live 2009 on Motema Music showcased his own compositions alongside standards like Round Midnight and Jackie McLean’s Minor March. Well worth a listen – if you can find it.

Music from Brazil continues to enthrall us with its range and diversity – perhaps not surprisingly with a population of 193 million, who all appear to have music in their soul. Several great compilations of new music appeared in 2010 including a Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira – a double CD collection of music representing everything from manguebeat and brega (check them out on Wikipedia) to hiphop and rap. Nothing specifically jazzy in there but we particularly liked Jam da Silva’s homage to Manu Dibango, Mania. We also played new music from Rosalia de Souza, Rosa Passos and Estatica – the latest from on-form bossa hipster Marcos Valle.

Rumours of the death of the 12in single have been much exaggerated and we have enjoyed great new music on this format over the last year, including some great takes on Herbie Hancock’s classic Chameleon from Makoto and Kez YM. You can find this on Nik Weston’s Mukatsuku Records. Staying with Japan, Jacob – our regular sometime-Tokyo based adviser on such things – has continued to delight us with surprises from this country’s diverse music scene including producer Nujabes (aka Jun Seba) who was tragically killed in 2010 and whose track The Final View heavily samples Yusef Lateef’s Love Theme from Spartacus. This track came up again this year when NY jazz star Vijay Iyer suggested we play it in our show featuring the most beautiful tunes in jazz.

We could easily have chosen just about anything from Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden’s Jasmine – this ECM album is reflective, personal and tender – just as you might expect from this pairing. Jarrett is controlled and delicate while Haden’s trademark sonorities bring depth and a quiet grandeur to what could easily be dismissed as first division dinner party music. There are some surprises though – an interesting take on Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away, for example – but start with their take on the standard For All We Know and you won’t go wrong.

It didn’t feature in many ‘best of…’ round ups, but we rate Christian Scott’s latest album for Concord Jazz, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Scott’s breathy tone on trumpet is well matched to the chordal smears of guitarist Matthew Stevens and the production from Blue Note veteran Rudy Van Gelder is spot on. Scott’s trumpet sound owes something to Scandinavians Arve Henriksen and Nils Petter Molvaer and we reckon that immersion in this more atmospheric, ambient tonal world will continue to feature in the development of the trumpet in jazz. Quiet Inlet, the latest release from Ian Ballamy’s Food project actually featured Molvaer adding his customary glacial tones to some tracks and Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street (also on ECM) from ambient trumpeter Jon Hassell evoked a similar soundworld. The quietly insistent collages on both albums show a clear 21st century direction for jazz.

We played much from Gilles Peterson’s latest compilation of his favourite tracks from the Italian Horo label including the intriguing Nuraghi from Santucci Scoppa and Enrico Pieranunzi’s modal Polychrome among the more familiar sounds of Roy Haynes and Steve Grossman. It would have been good to have devoted as much time to another labour of love on BGP Records from fellow DJ Dean Rudland but the three copies of this album we bought (yes – we buy all our music!) suffered from pressing faults. This anthology of the best of the Mainstream label had many treasures, including Frank Foster’s title track The Loud Minority and Blue Mitchell’s Mr Hermano. Both albums come highly recommended.

Much was expected at Cosmic Jazz Towers of Brad Mehldau’s epic Highway Rider but our view is that it delivers few surprises. Saxophonist Joshua Redman plays safe throughout and, whilst the orchestral arrangements are ambitious, the whole project doesn’t seem to deliver the promised grandeur. Similarly, our thoughts on Esperanza Spalding’s much-touted Chamber Music Society were also mixed – but maybe we need to give it another listen.

For something really adventurous, have a listen to William Parker’s I Plan to Stay a Believer which features the songs of Curtis Mayfield. Parker says that “every song written or improvised has an inside song which lives in the shadows, in between the sounds and silences and behind the words, pulsating, waiting to be reborn as a new song” and some of these versions are just that. This 2CD release is undoubtedly indulgent and overblown, with many of these ‘inside songs’ checking in at 15 minutes and more, but there are some terrific moments – including the title track and a spellbinding version of Freddie’s Dead. Much of this is due to vocalist Leena Conquest whose gospelly tones add real depth to Mayfield’s impassioned lyrics.

Reissue of the year had to be the deluxe edition of Bitches Brew, the seminal Miles Davis album that we featured in several shows as we celebrated the 40th anniversary of its release. Including the original vinyl on 180g discs, a sumptuous book of photographs, a CD of the 1970 concert at Tanglewood alongside a DVD of a previously unissued Copenhagen show from 1969, this heayweight package was the perfect way to enjoy again this justified classic. If you’re on a tight budget, go for the 3CD pack – it’s still a bargain.

A far less ambitious project was the one CD collection of complete quartet recordings from another trumpeter, the always thoughtful Booker Little. Dead from kidney failure at just 23, Little was a trumpet innovator who endlessly practiced his craft, honing his sound and challenging his technical ability with every performance. Check out The Complete Quartet Recordings on Jazz Plot for a taste of what might have been.

We also spent more time with some of ECM’s austere white boxed sets – the set of three early Arild Andersen albums collectively called Green in Blue revealed their delights slowly but listening to the evolution of the quartet across the 1970s is fascinating.  Honourable mentions must go to another ECM white box, the 3CD set of Eberhard Weber albums collectively titled Colours (but confusingly not including the ground-breaking Colours of Chloe), a live rarity from influential 80s collective Loose Tubes – Dancing on Frith Street – and Windmill Tilter, Kenny Wheeler/John Dankworth’s ode to Don Quixote.

Other music we’ve enjoyed over the year included Django Bates’ wacky tribute to Charlie Parker, Beloved Bird, another fine collaboration on Strut Records from veteran Lloyd Miller and the Heliocentrics, Erik Truffaz’s patchy but ambitious 3CD set Rendezvous, Nat Birchall’s Coltrane-like Guiding Spirit and The New Emancipation, a typically ambitious fusing of jazz, rap and nu-soul from Soweto Kinch. We played tracks from all these albums over the year.

Concert of 2010 for me had to be the Robert Glasper/Terence Blanchard double bill at the inspiring London Jazz Festival along with – of course – Charles Lloyd’s set at the same event.

I missed the recent buzz on what is my hottest tip for the big time in 2011 – and that’s Darcy James Argue’s revolutionary take on the big band called The Secret Society. Infernal Machines, their album of 2009, is – well, something else. I’ll be playing music from this truly amazing release over coming weeks.
Enjoy your end of year jazz – and see you in 2011 for more adventures on the Cosmic Jazz journey.