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 #52 : piano players and other things

The show starts with a slab of Swedish jazz funk from a band called White Orange – which features trumpet maestro Tim Hagans  – who, as far as I know, only made one album. The release is from 1975.

I then play three great piano players in sequence:

A take on Miles Davis’s “So What” by the Bill Evans Trio from a Canadian Concert.

The soothing sounds of John Taylor from his 2008 album Whirlpool, and

Some hard- bop from the Wynton Kelly band from 1958 – a great line up with Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Paul Chambers and Philly “Joe” Jones.

With the passing of John Barry this week I play a couple of tunes from the excellent work he did on the soundtrack to the film “The Cotton Club”. A great composer, arranger and musician who will be sadly missed.

The mew Led Bib album is featured – their fifth. A great band who have managed to refresh the UK jazz scene with their approach to music. There are elements of Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart in their impressive playing.

“Almost Like Me” is Odean Pope’s outstanding and very hard to find first release as leader. Some hard-core funky slap bass Philly modern jazz, with Cornell Rochester on drums and Gerald Veasley on bass playing some of their best work.

I close with a great reconstruction of the blues by Coltrane and then some marvellous work from Miroslav Vitous.