What is jazz? As with so many kinds of music, definitions are often fruitless. We prefer to think of a jazz sensibility – the way that jazz has always taken inspiration from the music around it. Tonight’s show features some of those influences and our video this week takes this to the next stage…
We began with the invocation that opens rapper Guru’s Jazzamataz recording and whilst we heard no further direct links between rap and jazz on the show, the influence of remix culture, Brian Eno and David Bowie’s Berlin phase, drum and bass, hip hop drumming, Brazilian rhythms, oriental modes, orchestral sounds, Greek folk music and West coast rock. It’s all here in this week’s Cosmic Jazz.
- Guru – Introduction from Jazzamataz Vol 1
- David Bowie – Subterraneans from Low
- Dylan Howe – Subterraneans from Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie’s Berlin
- Melanie De Biasio – The Flow (Hex remix) from No Deal Remixed
- Yusef Lateef – Plum Blossom (rework) from Brasil Bam Bam Bass
- Sonzeira – The Mystery of Man (4Hero remix) from Brasil Bam Bam Bass
- Charles Lloyd – Flying Over the Odra Valley from Wild Man Dance
- The New Jazz Orchestra – Dusk Fire from Le Dejouner Sur L’herbe
- Ed Motta – 1978 from AOR
- Quincy Jones – The Twitch from Quintessence
- Hadley Caliman – Cigar Eddie from Hadley Caliman
Video this week comes from Australian trio The Necks. Their recent London appearance at the Village Underground in Shoreditch was one of the most exciting concerts I’ve ever attended. That may sound like a contradiction in terms when I add that their trademark sound is a long form minimalist melting pot of shimmering percussion, dark bass drones and endless ostinato piano figures.
About 20 minutes in (and still on the first piece) the music was literally breathtaking: from my edge of the stage vantage point I found myself having to consciously breathe, such was the hypnotic force generated by the extraordinary sounds from this piano, bass and drums trio. The music is simultaneously loud and quiet, soft and hard, intense and tranquil. The only way is to understand these apparent contradictions is to listen for yourself – preferably live and from the front row!