This week’s show featured the young saxophonist Kamasi Washington. He’s already been featured on the show in an earlier programme and his 3CD release The Epic is one of our favourite records of 2015. Find it in your local independent record store (mine is Soundclash in Norwich – see our link) and pay around £13 for over three hours of excellent music.
Washington leads a big band with, at times, singers and a choir as well as several musicians all from Los Angeles, many of whom have known each other for a long time. They state that they Want to make jazz new, unexpected and mysterious again. The rapper Common has said: These guys remind me why I listen to music and Flying Lotus, (although related to the Coltrane family) said referring to Washington I don’t want to hear ‘My Favourite Things… What I hear is a leader among artists. The two tunes played on this week’s show Askim and Re-Run Home are long, intense, spiritual and uplifting.
I am sure the quote above from Flying Lotus is not intended as a slight to John Coltrane. Cosmic Jazz this week showed where we stand by opening with Seraphic Light from Stellar Regions, music from Coltrane’s late period and discovered only after his death. The track features Alice Coltrane on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. Free, heavy, intensely spiritual and moving jazz.
There was more from stevesjazzsounds.co.uk, but this time from Sweden. Veteran saxophonist Nisse Sandstrom with a quintet featuring young Swedish musicians, played a calypso-inspired tune to make the hips sway, or perhaps wine as they would say in the Caribbean. Shades of Sonny Rollins to be heard here. Also from Sweden came REQ – another young group, this time a quartet, led by bass player Robert Erlandsson.
Finally, to show that Kamasi Washington is not the only young black American leader of a jazz big band that we have featured recently on Cosmic Jazz, there was another play for Samuel Prather and his Groove Orchestra. They, however, are from Washington – a long, long way from LA.
- John Coltrane – Seraphic Light from Stellar Regions
- Kamasi Washington – Askim from The Epic
- Kamasi Washington – Re-Run Home from The Epic
- Nisse Sandstrom Quintet – Calypso Bulbosa from Live at Crescendo
- REQ – News from News
- Samuel Prather – Fela Snarky from Groove Orchestra