The Jessica Lauren Four tune White Mountain proved to be a popular choice with listeners. It is an uplifting piece in any situation but is particularly so when used to start a radio show. Check out the CD on Freestyle records. More uplifting moments came from the veteran Ghanaian guitarist Ebo Taylor from his new CD on Strut and also from the positive New Orleans style of With this Faith by Denys Baptiste – although sadly the tune was chosen as a mark of respect to Abram Wilson the musician playing trumpet on it, who died recently.
Ahmad Jamal proved that any jazz fan should look at the list of double CD re-releases issued last year to mark the 50th anniversary of Impulse records – Effendi was from one of the many bargains in the series. Wadada Leo Smith provided the sort of different, challenging, deep sounds that are essential to Cosmic Jazz via the title track from his 2011 CD Dark Lady of the Sonnets, although we have not played many tunes that have Chinese instrumentation. Kenny Garrett’s Beyond the Wall evoked the spirit of Chinese sounds but not in such a direct way.
Cosmic Jazz cannot avoid Esperanza Spalding these days and for very good reasons. Her 2012 release Radio Music Society is excellent and her current standing is highlighted by the quality of the musicians that she can attract. Jack DeJohnette plays drums on tonight’s choice Vague Suspicions while Esperanza provides bass and vocals. The same combination can be found on Jack’s own tune Song for Lusito from the CD Sound Travels issued earlier this year to celebrate the 70th birthday of this distinguished drummer.
- Jessica Lauren Four – White Mountain
- Francisco Mora Catlett – Vital Force (Yoruba traditional P. D.)
- Denys Baptiste – With this Faith
- Ebo Taylor – Ayesama
- Patrice Rushen – Before the Dawn
- Ahmad Jamal – Effendi
- Wadada Leo Smith’s Mbira – Dark Lady of the Sonnets
- Jack DeJohnette – Song for Lusito
- Esperanza Spalding – Vague Suspicions
- Roy Hargrove’s Crisol – Nusia’s Poem