Playlist – 30 April 2014: International Jazz Day

This week’s show went out on the third International Jazz Day, an event created by pianist Herbie Hancock, whom we honoured on the show with what has to be his signature composition, Maiden Voyage.This annual event is organised through UNESCO to celebrate the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced co-operation among people. We have to agree with that! So celebrate that day, albeit belatedly, by clicking the Mixcloud icon on this page and listening to the programme.

Fredrik KronkvistThe show began with two tracks from recent Scandinavian releases, courtesy of good friend of the show Steve’s Jazz Sounds. Steve supplied more from one of our favourites, Swedish alto sax player Fredrik Kronkvist – this time the title track from his 2011 release Improvised Action. Next month sees a new release from Kronkvist’s New York quartet and we hope to feature a track on the show as soon as it’s available. Continuing the Swedish mode was a more reflective track which featured one of the world’s most prolifically recorded contemporary bass players, Palle Danielsson. He noticeably featured as part of Keith Jarrett’s longstanding European Quartet but has also played with Charles Lloyd, Michel Petrucciani, Peter Erskine, Jan Garbarek, Enrico Rava, John Taylor and many more. Brand new music came from the Soul Jazz Orchestra from Canada (who began life as an afrobeat band) and then we intended to play a slice of the real thing from Seun Kuti, the son of the master – but instead featured another track from the Soul Jazz Orchestra. Fortunately, it was a fine piece of afrobeat nonetheless!

Ambrose AkinmusireAnother new release was from rising star trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, who has just released his sophomore album on Blue Note with the (as usual) enigmatic title The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint. This is an ambitious work which we’ll return to in future weeks. Akinmusire debuted with Steve Coleman who spotted him in a music workshop in Berkeley, California. Talent will out…

Another great track this week was a re-release from BGP Records by Bob Thiele, perhaps better know to many as a producer rather than musician. Thiele was the man behind Flying Dutchman Records and a clarinettist – but his real claim to fame was as the producer at the influential Impulse! label from 1961-69. Here he oversaw the production of John Coltrane’s most avantgarde work along with such luminaries as Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins and Albert Ayler.

To highlight the global range of the programme this week, there was new music from Brazil via the Otis Trio – something of a misnomer with nine musicians on the tune we played… It’s released by the British label Far Out which specialises in Brazilian music old and new but which has now extended its range to include West African re-releases.

The show ended with another new CD from Japanese trumpeter Takuda Kuroda whose Blue Note album has been produced by another Cosmic Jazz favourite, Jose James. We played the hip hop influenced Afro Blues but there’s also a new version of Roy Ayers’ perennial favourite Everybody Loves the Sunshine with vocals by Jose James himself.

  1. Frederik Kronkvist Sextet – Improvised Action from Improvised Action
  2. Anders Persson, Palle Danielsson, Terje Sundby – Highland Park from The Second Time Around
  3. Soul Jazz Orchestra – Celestial Blues and One Life to Live from Inner Fire
  4. Ambrose Akinmusire – As We Fight from The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint
  5. Bob Thiele – In The Vineyard/Avant Garde from Head Start
  6. Hancock – Maiden Voyage from Maiden Voyage
  7. Otis Trio – Montag’s Dream from 74 Club
  8. Takuda Kuroda – Afro Blues from Rising Sun

Video this week comes from our opener Fredrik Kronkvist, seen here with his New York Quartet featuring Aaron Goldberg on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums. They’re live at Jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm playing Straight to the Point:

3 thoughts on “Playlist – 30 April 2014: International Jazz Day”

  1. Thiele also wrote ‘Wonderful World’ for Louis Armstrong, produced ‘Rave On’ by Buddy Holly and ‘Lonely Teardrops’ for Jackie Wilson whom he signed to Coral Records. As E.M.Forster wrote ‘ Only connect …’

  2. Good selections, chaps! Liked the version of ‘Afro Blue’ you played at the end too. Well done ..

  3. I had no idea about Wonderful World or the other stuff! Thanks for the information. Now, that’s not actually Afro Blue but (confusingly) Afro Blues. It’s really a reflection of the Afrobeat rhythms that run through a few of the tracks on the album, including this one. They reflect Kuroda’s six-year participation in the New York-based Afrobeat ensemble, Akoya. Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke is on this one too. Kuroda played on Jose James’ second album – Black Magic. We might feature something from it next week…

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