BBC Radio 4 currently has a two-part series entitled Black is a Country. The first part was broadcast last Thursday at 11:30 am and can be heard via the BBC Radio 4 website, the second part is the same time this Thursday. The programme is an exploration of the underground music – mainly jazz – created and inspired by the Black Power movement. The programme is presented by Erykah Badu and includes contributions from Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Lloyd McNeill (recently featured on Cosmic Jazz) and Amiri Baraka.
Sky Arts 2 last Saturday showed Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense which will be repeated early morning 12:15 am on Saturday 14 January. The programme is also available on DVD. It features top contemporary jazz musicians Jason Moran, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Greg Osby, Wynton Marsalis, Avishai Cohen and Bugge Wesseltoft talking about what jazz means today with some live shots of these musicians playing.
These excellent (and rare) excursions into contemporary jazz in the media have inspired us to add two videoclips to this post. First up is Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time group with Latin Genetics recorded live at Montreux in 1988 – brilliant!
Pianist Jason Moran appears in the final moments of Icons Among Us and here he is with a live take on his version of Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGj3WXFBnJA