World of Jazz – 13th October 2011

On this show

  • Buster Williams – I Love You – Crystal Reflections – from a 1976 album features a number of duets a quartet featuring  Buster Williams, Roy Ayers,  Kenny Barron and Billy Hart.
  • Oliver Nelson – In Time – Taking Care of Business –  In a slightly unusual group session from 1960 (with vibraphonist Lem Winchester, organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith, bassist George Tucker and drummer Roy Haynes), Nelson better known later in life for his arranging and composing skills (he wrote the theme tune for TVs Ironside show for example)  improvises a variety of well-constructed but spontaneous solos.
  • Melvin Sparks – Charlie Brown – Sparks! – a 1970 soul jazz session from blues focused guitarist Sparks. Leon Spencer features on organ.
  • Elvin Jones – Moon Dance – Time Capsule – Elvin’s Vanguard recordings of 1975-77, of which this was the final one, generally found him playing with all-stars or augmenting his band with guests. This tune was written by altoist Bunky Green, who is the date’s top soloist – the rest of the band includes  tenor saxophonist George Coleman, the electric piano of Kenny Barron, bassist Junie Booth, guitarist Ryo Kawasaki, and percussionist Angel Allende.
  • Marion Brown – Bismillah, Rahmani Rrahim – Vista – Altoist Marion Brown, one of the potentially great high-energy saxophonists to emerge in the mid-’60s (he was on John Coltrane’s famous Ascension record). This disc has in impressive line-up including both Anthony Davis and Stanley Cowell on keyboards along with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Ed Blackwell
  • Jackie McLean – Erdu – ‘Bout Soul –   From 1967 ‘Bout Soul is one of  McLean’s most explicit free albums, finding the alto saxophonist pushing a quintet — trumpeter Woody Shaw  , pianist Lamont Johnson, bassist Scotty Holt, and drummer Rashied Ali.
  • Renegades of Jazz – Voodoo Juju – Hip to the Jive – Raw and heavy produced music, fusing jazz with breakbeat elements, bringing the jazz back to the dancefloor. Started as an experiment in trying something new, Renegades Of Jazz were instantly signed by UK based producer Smoove to his new label Wass Records.
  • Earl Turbinton – Kingston Town – Brothers for Life – Alto saxophonist Turbinton and keyboardist Willie Tee moved into more adventurous territory than usual on this 1988 date. While each was an experienced blues and R&B stylist, they had also maintained active jazz ties since the ’50s, and it comes to the surface on this date.
  • Marcus Belgrave – Odom’s Cave – Gemini – This nonet with trumpeter Belgrave is sometimes funky, spacy, or swinging, but always potent. The band includes  Roy Brooks, Wendell Harrison, Harold McKinney and Phil Ranelin.
  • John Abercrombie – Out of Towner – Wait ‘Till You See Her – Abercrombie most recent album – his longstanding partnership with Mark Feldman has yielded several albums of great music, and this latest one is no different. The mood is restrained, and introspective. With acoustic bassist Thomas Morgan and  drummer Joey Baron.
To listen to the show click the link below:

World of Jazz #51 – some you might not know

As mentioned on the previous blog on World of Jazz putting together the show can be a bit of a hit and miss affair. The issue with something which is as broad a church as jazz is that you cannot please all the people all the time. One man’s Jamie Cullen is another man’s dyspepsia as it were. From studying the number of hits on the Mixcloud hostings of the show it’s fairly obvious that the less extreme forms of jazz are the most popular. So, for example, the Blue Note Special of a couple of months ago has proved to be the most popular whereas those shows with the higher levels of fire/free music don’t quite capture as much attention. So the puzzle is really how to make a show which is attractive to most but also a little bit cutting edge?

For this particular show I was short of time and had to rely on longer form pieces with which to fill the hour (its actually 55:39 for technical reasons too complex to go into). I also thought I would shake things up a little bit with some artists who are not regularly featured in the best of jazz charts.

Marion Brown who sadly died last October was on ‘Tranes massive “Ascension” session and hung around the fringes of jazz popularity for many years never quite getting the success he deserved.  His 1974 release on Impulse “Sweet Earth Flying” is probably his best album with the added value of both Paul Bley and Muhal Richards Abrams on keyboards.

Codona – a jazz supergroup? The name is derived from the letters of the name of Collin Walcott , Don Cherry , and Nana Vasconcelos.  This is jazz in the realm of multi-ethnic improvisation, mostly down to Walcott’s interest in Eastern Indian rhythms and Vasconcelos’s Brazilian roots. Cherry’s experiences with folk music of Scandinavia, Morocco, and Africa adds to a melting pot of styles, sounds and ideas. I selected the title track from their first album.

The short-lived New York Art Quartet was  trombonist Roswell Rudd, altoist John Tchicai, drummer Milford Graves(succeeded by Louis Moholo) and several different bass players including Lewis Worrell, Reggie Workman and Finn Von Eyben. Their music was   free, emotional, and unique for the trombone-alto frontline.  The 2010 album “Old Stuff” pulls together their  last recordings, as they went their separate ways shortly after this session.

The Claudia Quintet are one of the top five progressive jazz units in the U.S. and the world at the moment. The 2010 album “Royal Toast” continued their excellent work with some fantastic modern jazz.

I always turn to Thelonious Monk when I want to break a show up a little. I find his particular approach to music allows the balance of a show to be shifted easily. Criss-Cross – his second album for Columbia Records – features some of his finest studio work with his ’60s trio and quartet. The album both revisits and  reinvents classic Monk compositions.

Joe Farrell, known in the ’60s as a solid hard bop tenor saxophonist, developed a broader style  in the ’70s. This is evidenced on the classic “Joe Farrell Quartet”  album, he is  joined by a stunning line up of   Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette.

In 1986 Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison continued their homage to the famous Eric Dolphy/Booker Little duo with a second set of performances recorded at Sweet Basil. The featured track is “Bee Vamp,” one of the  tunes the original duo immortalized during their Five Spot performances.