Listen to this week’s show – just press the arrow and go! Three of the best compilations of 2013 are represented here along with music from Brazilian Bruno E and more spiritual jazz-inflected rarities from drummer Roy Brooks and pianists Sun Ra and Randy Weston. Vocalist Stella Levitt recorded Note So High in France in 1991 with (husband?) Al Levitt on drums. The rest of this excellent Heavenly Sweetness compilation is of the same high standard.
Roy Brooks played with many leading jazz artists – beginning with Horace Silver and including Pharoah Sanders, Blue Mitchell, Max Roach, Abdullah Ibrahim and Dexter Gordon. He suffered mental health issues for much of his life and was not very active towards the end of his career, but you can still check out his work on several albums with the artists listed above – including Silver’s classic Songs for My Father. Ethnic Expressions was reissued through the always reliable UK Jazzman label in 2010. Also look out for the album Roy Brooks and the Improvisational Sphere (released on the Sagittarius A-Star label out of Italy). It features Amina Claudine Myers on keyboards and Ray Mantilla on percussion.
Sun Ra here is featured in his barrelhouse boogie woogie style, with its usual left field tendencies. The handclaps and horn phrases are irresistible! Randy Weston is very much a jazz pioneer who decamped to Morocco as early as 1967.The horns and piano sound on Tanjah do in fact recall Sun Ra and the feelgood factor in the studio is high. Ahmed Abdul Malik introduces some north African funky oud into the track and Weston is as percussive as usual on the keys. This is a CJ recommended release – available on Verve but an expensive purchase on CD these days.
- Kamal Abdul Alim – Brotherhood from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection
- Azar Lawrence – Novo Ono from BGP presents Jazz Funk
- Stella Levitt – Note So High from Freedom Jazz France
- Bruno E – Carino (For Patricia) from Lovely Arthur
- Roy Brooks & the Artistic Truth – Eboness & Eboness Kwanza from Ethnic Expressions
- Sun Ra – Kingdom Of Not from Space Odyssey
- Randy Weston – Tanjah from Tanjah