Cosmic Jazz started with two presenters – Neil and Derek – trading records, exchanging comments and reacting to each other’s music, in most cases excited by each other’s choices – but not always. Neil has been away for much of the time recently and Derek has missed this weekly dialogue about music It was wonderful, therefore, to welcome Martin Burley to the show this week as a guest who could provide a well informed and stimulating commentary on all of the selected records and also give a few surprises along the way.
Martin presents a show of global sounds on ICR FM on Tuesday afternoons but also has an interest in and love of jazz music. He is a musician and to get the insights of a practised bass player and watch his immersion in the music as he listened to it was a great joy and resulted in a truly uplifting programme.
There was a nod to Martin’s love of global beats with Derek choosing the title tune from the new Mr. Bongo re-release Shango by the Ghanaian saxophonist Peter King – jazz was definitely an important part of his music. Martin replied with Zubop Gambia, recorded live at one of the Peppery Productions that Martin organises.
There were surprises too – Corinne Bailey Rae sounding almost like a jazz singer on Herbie Hancock’s version of the Joni Mitchell song River and Bill Frisell delivering a surprisingly soulful version of Sam Cooke’s important and pioneering tune A Change is Gonna Come. Another musician who has played at one of Martin’s events was the trumpeter Shanti Paul Jayasina. Round Trip from his album surprisingly managed to sound minimalist but complex and exciting. It was a great choice.
Martin always has an ear for a good bass player and was excited by the bass and piano on Charles Lloyd’s Booker’s Garden, a Cosmic Jazz favourite chosen by Derek because the quartet is due to appear at the Barbican on 28 April. Martin even managed to slip in some of his own bass playing on Ska-Kestra 1’s version of the Charlie Mingus classic Haitian Fight Song, recorded live at the Brighton Festival a few years back.
We exchanged our love of record shops, appropriately just before the annual Independent Record Store day two days later. Martin gave a plug for Wells in Southwold which combines being a photography shop at the front (a sight almost as rare as record shops these days) with an eclectic selection of jazz, world and classical music at the back. Martin informed us there are bargains to be had there at the moment, as there was when I last visited the shop. I played a tune from Eastern Sounds by Yusef Lateef, which is one of several jazz CDs which can be currently bought for only £5 at Soundclash Records (see link below) in Norwich.
Next week Derek presents a solo show and on 2 May there is another rare jazz groove spectacular from Alex and Palmer who sit in again on the show. This will be another show not to miss (see comments on their 11 April show).
- Peter King – Shango
- Zubop Gambia – Stop Fighting
- Yusef Lateef – Snafu
- Shanti Paul Jayasina – Round Trip
- Esperanza Spalding – Cinnamon Tree
- Herbie Hancock feat. Corinne Bailey Rae – River
- Charles Lloyd Quartet – Booker’s Garden
- Ska-Kestra 1 – Haitian Fight Song
- Sun Ra – Plutonian Nights
- Bill Frisell – A Change is Gonna Come
- Archie Shepp – Attica Blues
- The Hot 8 Brass Band – Steamin’ Blue