Cosmic Jazz Countdown – No. 5

Derek and Neil’s top ten Cosmic Jazz tracks. In a unique paired countdown we give you our fifth place choices – Tenorio Jr.’s Nebulosa and the Robert Glasper Trio’s No Worries.

Derek: One minute and fifty-five seconds: is that long enough to make a perfect music track? In this short time, can a piece of music grip you while still leaving you wanting more?  Can you sum up everything you need to play in this short time? The answer to all of these questions is “yes” in the case of Nebulosa by Tenorio Jr.

The track can be found on Brazilan Beats 1 from Mr. Bongo records or on the Embalo album by Tenorio Jr. which is still available. Tenorio was a pianist from Brazil but sadly ‘disappeared’ in the 1970s while in Argentina at the hands of the Argentinian secret police.

Tenorio’s piano is at the forefront throughout the track. It begins with a slow, grand, almost melodramatic opening with some frilly twinkling at the piano, a pause, more frilly piano twinkling and then a crashing entry from the drums and bass. The pace from there is fast with Tenorio’s piano always right up there. It slows down at the end for the final grandiose statement from the piano, but the ending is sharp and sudden. You will need to play it again. Oh! And by the way it is a tune you will want to hum along and move your body to at the same time.

Neil: Ok, another pianist from me – but at another end of the jazz spectrum. Contemporary and cool, Robert Glasper is at home with hip hop and jazz. He records with rap artists and has had in his trio one of the most influential drummers of the last 20 years – Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave.

Glasper is an ambling Texan bear who shuffles onto the stage, chats to the audience and engages from the word go. His Blue Note albums – including the most recent release Double Booked from which this track comes – have been rave reviewed and increasingly ambitious in scope. Appearing at this year’s London Jazz Festival, he was relaxed in his approach and intense in his performance. The Barbican audience loved him! Able to mix Radiohead with Herbie Hancock and have vocal guests Mos Def and Bilal on his albums, Glasper undoubtedly has a great future ahead.

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