The first jazz podcast since my departure from Salford City Radio includes the following:
- Don Grolnick – Genie – Nightown : Don’s second and final Blue Note release from 1992, he died far too young four years later, a stunning line of Ehrlich, Holland, Lovano and Brecker make this a must listen release.
- Jan Garbarek – Gula Gula – I Took Up The Runes : a jazzy cover of Mari Persen’s tune sets the tone for a great mid-period album for Garbarek
- Bennie Maupin – The Jewel In The Lotus – The Jewel In The Lotus : from 1974 and very much in the shadow of Bitches Brew – Maupin assembled a stellar line-up for this amazing album – most of his Headhunters chums are along for the ride and the arrangements are some of the best in jazz.
- Ken Vandermark’s Joe Harriot Project – Shadows – Straight Lines – from 1999 a celebration of Harriott’s compositions. With KV you have Jeb Bishop on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass and Tim Mulvenna on drums.
- Henry Threadgill & Zooid – A Day Off – Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry SPP : a 2012 release with Henry doing what he does best by being completely unique and uncategorisable.
- John Surman – Double Tripper – Nordic Quartet : typical ECM from 1995 – not known as Surman’s best work but highly entertaining and ambient.
- Joshua Redman – Before – Passage Of Time : see below
- Joshua Redman – Free Speech Phase 1 : Declaration – Passage Of Time : featuring Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson – this 2001 album is a good representation of Redman’s writing abilities and the band is good on both the written and improvised sections.
- Ponga – Naugahide – Ponga – Entirely improvised from start to finish,the album is a collection of jam sessions featuring Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Bobby Previte (drums) Skerik (sax) and Dave Palmer (keyboards). Released in 1999.
- Paul Lytton, Phillip Wachsmann – The Redefining of Methods and Means – Some Other Season : Also from 1999 a collection of improvised pieces which hang precariously between jazz and ambient.
- Miles Davis – Tatu Pt 2 Calypso Frelimo – Dark Magus : Live at Carnegie Hall in 1974 with Miles deep into his electric phase.
The second edition in an ongoing series in World of Jazz looking at the murky world between jazz and rock…..always a contentious area for those who would rather the two were kept apart…..
- Oregon – Joyful Departure – Northwest Passage – kicking off with a band which I suppose is more “World Music” than rock and the band’s first recording in two years with the three surviving original members (Ralph Towner on guitar and keyboards, bassist Glen Moore, and Paul McCandless, who plays soprano sax, English horn, sopranino, oboe and bass clarinet) and in this instance Arto Tuncboyaciyan on percussion (Mark Walker plays on other tracks on the album). I’m building up to the rock stuff later with this track which might be better described as a mix of progressive folk and jazz mood music.
- Marc Johnson’s Right Brain Patrol – Samurai Hee Haw – Magic Labyrinth – from 1996. The second album by bassist Marc Johnson’s “Right Brain Patrol” trio is a siginficantly different from the first. The line up is more or less the same – Arto Tuncboyaciyan (him again) is back on drums and percussion, but guitarist Ben Monder is replaced by Wolfgang Muthspiel, whose approach is a signature element this session. The fine remake of “Samurai Hee-Haw,” a Johnson original that first appeared on his outstanding Bass Desires album, features a riveting rock based bass riff and some spacey guitar from Muthspiel.
- Ponga – Awesome Wells – Ponga – improvised jam sessions are the source of the material for this challenging 1999 album. The line-up made up downtown jazz legends Wayne Horvitz (keyboards) and Bobby Previte (drums) who are joined by two Seattle musicians Skerik (sax) and Dave Palmer (keyboards). The minimal “Awesome Wells” is the standout track on this very bluesy rock oriented, funky, experimental free jazz album.
- Santana – Song of the Wind – Caravanserai – 1972 saw Santana moving away from the latino-rock of Abraxas to this classic album of jazz-rock fusion. Often regarded as one of his finest recordings this album requires repeated listening to fully understand just what was being achieved. No doubt the impact of McLaughlin in Miles band played no small part in influencing quite a radical change in direction for Carlos.
- Isotope 217 – La Jetee The Unstable Molecule – Isotope 217, one of Rob Mazurek’s numerous Chicago jazz side projects, hangs somewhere between post-rock and jazz. The band grew out of weekly jam sessions around the Chicago area. Mazurek recruited members of Tortoise (Dan Bitney, John Herndon, and Jeff Parker) for the, which has a definite lo-fi vibe, balanced by Mazurek’s jazz endeavours. The album neither straight jazz or post-rock, ubt somewhere rather magically in between. Tracks like “La Jeteé” employ the use of a variety instrumentation in the tradition of Tortoise.
- Rob Mazurek Chicago Underground Orchestra – Jeff’s New Idea – Playground – In contrast to the preceding – Mazurek and his Chicago Underground Orchestra — this time consisting of guitarist Jeff Parker, again, trombonist Sara P. Smith, bassist Chris Lopes, and drummer Chad Taylor — and together they deliver some of the most innovative playing of late-’90s jazz. Parker’s tune has the loose improvisatory feel of the music Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock were creating in the late 1960s, which allows room for exciting improvisation.
- Jack DeJohnette – Darkness To Light – Music for the Fifth World – DeJohnette’s 1992 album demonstrates his all round skills as composer, and keyboardist, as well as the percussion skills for which he is better known. The band includes guitarists Vernon Reid and John Scofield, who provide for an exciting amalgam of Reid’s rock leanings, and Sco’s jazzier chops.
To listen to the show click on the link below…..