Playlist – 28 May 2014: Jazz surprises?

The show this week returned to some artists I have been playing over the last few weeks –  but there were also one or two surprises. Click the Mixcloud tab here on the site to listen to the show. Look right alongside the playllst on your computer. If you’re accessing the site from your phone, scroll right down.

I make no apologies for playing more from the excellent Shez Rajah Collective recorded live at The Pizza Express Jazz Club. Shez Rajah plays a tough electric bass and the tune FNUK also features one of the UK’s foremost jazz crowd-pleasers, Gilad Atzmon, on tenor saxophone.

I continued to show another side of Brazilian music from that we normally hear. Bruno E mixed beats, drum ‘n’ bass and jazz sounds on his album Lovely Arthur and there was more from the interesting Otis Trio whose Club 74 album has been released recently on the British specialist Brazilian music label Far Out Recordings.

eddie harris&les mccannEddie Harris is an old favourite of mine. At times, he was maligned by some jazz purists who considered his pioneering of the electric saxophone to be just a gimmick but there is plenty of evidence of his jazz credentials on Set Us Free, recorded with collaborator Les McCann. Check out the YouTube video below of him playing the wonderful Listen Here live at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Some jazz people may be surprised to find the Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin on the playlist but a few weeks ago I heard this tune being played on the streets of Norwich as part of a dance/drama performance. Certainly there is reggae in the song, but there is also jazz there too. For one thing, the excellent Below The Bassline album was released on Island’s Jamaica Jazz offshoot and features Monty Alexander on piano, arguably Jamaica’s greatest jazz artist and Roland Alphonso from The Skatalites on saxophone, who was well schooled in jazz.

frank foster loud minorityI finished with two re-releases: the first one of the Black Jazz label releases that are now available and the second the outstanding Frank Foster album The Loud MinorityCheck the Ace Records catalogue for the superb selection of jazz re-releases on their BGP label. The image left shows the original album cover – if you can find it!

As iconic jazz critic Whitney Balliett said in the title of his collection of reviews from the New Yorker magazine, Jazz is the sound of surprise.

  1. Shez Rajah Collective feat Gilad Atzmon – FNUK from Soho Live
  2. Bruno E – Arthur Part 2 from Lovely Arthur
  3. Otis Trio – Tempestade from 74 Club
  4. Eddie Harris & Les McCann – Set Us Free from Second Movement
  5. Ernest Ranglin – Surfin from Below The Bassline
  6. Walter Bishop Jr. – Those Who Chant from Theo Parrish’s Black Jazz Signature
  7. Frank Foster – The Loud Minority from The Loud Minority

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