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.