World of Jazz Podcast #10 – Chicago Special

A focus on music from Chicago this time around with a look at the work of Matana Roberts, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – in between some classic cuts from the archives…..listen here

  1. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Starfighter – Bulletproof Brass (2011) an eight piece band  of horn-playing brothers from the south side of Chicago (plus one unrelated drummer) who mine a variety of genres from jazz, funk, hip-hop, and various strains of world music – they started out playing on the streets of Chicago, New York, and elsewhere, selling their self-released CDs and gradually building a loyal following and an international profile.
  2. Art Ensemble of Chicago – Come On Y’All – Sirius Calling (2004) After Lester Bowie’s death in 1999, it looked as if the Art Ensemble of Chicago was destined to finish. With Joseph Jarman having left the group in the early 1990s, the unit was down to the trio of Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors and Don Moye. HoweverJarman soon rejoined the Art Ensemble and the group continued to work. Favors’ death in early 2004 was a major blow, but the band, with different bassists, has continued. Sirius Calling is Favors’ last recording and it features the quartet on 14 originals.
  3. Joe Gordon – Terra Firma Irma – Lookin’ Good! (1961)  A very good  bop-oriented trumpeter, Gordon’s tragic early death at 35 in a fire unfortunately leaves us with a small amount of material by which to judge his contribution to jazz . This is from the second of his second of two recordings as a leader . Gordon wrote all eight of the selections and is joined by  altoist Jimmy Woods, pianist Dick Whittington, bassist Jimmy Bond, and drummer Milt Turner.
  4. Matana Roberts – How Much Would You Cost – Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres (2011) The most important recent artist to come from Chicago? I think so – from the excellent album where a 16-piece ensemble was recorded in a Montreal studio live in front of a small audience.
  5. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Marcus Garvey – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (2009)  their first widely released full-length album , which features re-recordings of many selections from their earlier self-released CD-Rs – consistently strong with a wide variety of styles on show.
  6. Joe Henderson – Mind Over Matter – In Pursuit Of Blackness (1971) The first part of  this track features Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke (bass),  Lenny White (drums) and George Cables (keyboard) engaged in abstract improvisation – Joe then starts blowing his tenor like a man possessed . An amazing solo follows and, just when you think the intensity can’t increase, in comes Curtis Fuller’s trombone and Pete Yellen’s flute. Stunning!  A 13-minute tour de force broken up into  little suites  with Henderson at his most adventurous.
  7. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Kryptonite – Bulletproof Brass (2011)
  8. Art Ensemble of Chicago – Dance of Circles – Sirius Calling (2004)
  9. McCoy Tyner – Sama Layuca – Sama Layuca (1974) featuring vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, altoist Gary Bartz, Azar Lawrence on tenor and soprano, John Stubblefield doubling on oboe and flute, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Billy Hart and both Mtume and Guillerme Franco on percussion. Tyner at the height of his powers.
  10. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble –  Satin Sheets – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (2009)
  11. Matana Roberts – Thrills – The Chicago Project (2008) Featured on this excellent debut  is a cast of  Chicago’s excellent musicians (including members of Tortoise, Ken Vandermark’s group, and saxophone legend Fred Anderson) on nine of Roberts’s  tunes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s