World of Jazz – 10th February 2011

A mix of old and new on this show …….

Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuaria – a couple of cuts from the new album “Lagrima Mexicales” – tunes that that evoke hispanic life in and around New York. Bill and Vinicius have worked together a lot – most notably on the Internationals album. What you get is the usuall Frisell wild mix of blues, country and electronic but this time with more of a latino feel.

Jadid Ensemble – the new album “Sigh of the Moor” is out on March 10th and you can see them at a free concert at the Royal Exchange in Manchester at 6pm on 11th February. Follows on nicely from the Frisell with a mix of hispanic and turkish idioms.

Stan Getz –  Getz was known as “The Sound” because of his warm, lyrical tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow tone of his idol, Lester Young. He recorded continually between the 1940s and the 1990s  “West Coast Jazz” – was recorded in Los Angeles in August 1955 with trumpeter Conte Candoli, pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne.  In 1955 the stylistic differences between East and West Coast jazz was the topic of some debate, with critics and fans arguing vehemently over the two camps . The title of the album was a joke,  all musicians involved were originally from the East Coast and did not play in the laid-back, commercially profitable, cool style, as pigeonholed by some. Getz just happened to be in LA filming the Benny Goodman story.

Jaga Jazzist have moved from their modernist exploration of jazz into a more progressive/post rock style since their long lay off but there are still elements of jazz in their frenetic and repetitive playing. The new latest album “One Armed Bandit” could easily find itself tucked away in a rock collection and there are definate elements of Zappa type composition in the music.

Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who fronted his large group continuously for almost 50 years. There is a great box set called “Masterpieces” which contains three CDs of his earlier compositions which is well worth checking out.

Dennis Gonzalez is a talented trumpeter who has recorded a consistently rewarding string of lesser-known dates, his playing is somewhere in-between advanced hard bop and free jazz. The 2009 album “A Matter of Blood”  is full of marvellous brooding work from  Gonzalez – easily one of the darkest, most powerful albums he’s ever recorded – thanks in part to an excellent lineup that features Curtis Clark on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Michael TA Thompson on percussion.

Led Bib – as featured on the last show another track from the new album from the young lions of the British Jazz Scene.

Bill Evans – the “Conversations With Myself” album was deemed as  controversial for no good reason other than the usual jazz purists getting hot under the collar because the pianist utilised the sound-on-sound technique of reel-to-reel tape recording available in the 1960s to play simultaneous twin pianos. N.Y.C.s No Lark is the sole Evans composition on the album.

Listen to the show here

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World of Jazz – 6th January 2010

The usual mix of jazz from around the world including:

The Jadid Ensemble – a “world music” band from Manchester who manage to meld flamenco with Turkish and Arabic music with a smidgen of jazz to create a relaxed and compelling sound.

Paulo Fresu – a handful of tunes featuring Paulo’s work with Ralph Towner, Carla Bley and Enrico Rava.  This italian trumpeter builds on Miles Davis’s sound from the 1950s and he has been extremely productive with over 130 albums in his discography.

Ahmad Jamal – a great player who did not achieve much commercial recognition – an innovator and minimalist who Miles Davis (him again!) counted as one his main influencers.

Horace Tapscott  – another great writer who did not make it onto the main jazz stage – highly regarded by his peers.

Johnny Dyani – a great bass player and composer whose music combines  South African folk heritage with Ornette Coleman’s free bop and elements of avant-garde jazz.

Don Grolnick – a subtle and rather underrated pianist throughout his career, but his flexibility and talents were well known to his fellow musicians.

Roland Kirk – some might argue he is the most exciting saxophone soloist in jazz history,  a post-modernist before that phrase even existed. A master at  mixing and matching elements from jazz  history, with memorable results.