This week’s show was an eclectic mix of some of the most exciting sounds from jazz and beyond. Click the MixCloud tab on this page and you’re likely to discover some tunes and artists you’ve never heard before and of whose music you will need to find out more.
Charles Gayle is an American free jazz saxophonist, born in 1939 but still going strong. His new album Christ Everlasting recorded in Vienna with Klaus Kugel from Germany on drums and Xavier Wosjcinski from Poland on bass is a forceful, emotional and challenging (for some) invocation to the Almighty. The tune I played – Joy In The Land – has Gayle blasting away for over six minutes. What an exhilarating way to start a show! Check this tune and then watch Charles Gayle on the YouTube clip below.
The Charles Gayle album and some of the others I featured are available at stevesjazzsounds.co.uk. Steve specialises in a unique selection of East European and Scandinavian jazz. For example, Schmidt Electric who Tear The Roof Off with a jazz rap and it works. Likewise, Michael Wierba with his Doppelganger Project. The title tune of their album Orange Sky features Patricia Zarychta, a third year student at the Academy of Music in Katowice, an institution that seems to produce a stream of important Polish jazz musicians. See the clip below of her singing with Michael Wierba and his band.
The Cosmic Jazz Essential Tune this week was Kenny Garrett’s Welcome Earth Song. If you are a Cosmic Jazz regular you will know it and you will still want to hear it again. If you have not heard it – listen now! It is uplifting, not only from the tone of Kenny Garrett’s sax, but also from the way it builds to the exclamatory shrieks of joy from the chorus at the end. Throughout, the rhythm section of bassist Nat Reeves and pianist Beninto Gonzales with drummer Ronald Bruner, the elder brother of Thundercat (aka Stephen Bruner) provide tough-sounding base for Garrett’s keening sax tones. Both Bruner brothers appear on the Kamasi Washington album the Epic – see previous CJ posts.
The next tune is perhaps a surprise addition. I came across the Orchestre Dakar Band, this week on the double CD compilation Afro-Latin via Dakar which is full of hypnotic Latin-influenced music from Senegal in the 1960s and 1970s. This tune, though, caught my attention in particular. I could find little information about the band other than they were young Senegalese students based in Abidjan and the CD does not name the musicians – but listen out for that fiery trumpet solo. Wow!
The Black Jazz Record label is an essential one to look out for and from Theo Parrish’s excellent Black Jazz Signature compilation, The Awakening provided a fine example from the label’s catalogue. It suggested to me where saxman de nos jour Kamasi Washington may have acquired some of his influences.
Another tune – and we shall play more – from Bugge Wesseltoft and friends, featured the trumpeter Erik Truffaz. After all this tough intensity the show ended on a calmer, but still deep vibe from another trumpeter, Tomasz Stanko, this time with Ravi Coltrane featured too on the album Polin.
- Charles Gayle Trio – Joy In The Land from Christ Everlasting
- Schmidt Electric – Tear The Roof Off from Tear The Roof Off
- Michael Wierba Doppelganger Project – Orange Sky from Orange Sky
- Kenny Garrett – Welcome Earth Song from Songs From The Underground
- Orchestre Dakar Band – Bayilen Di Yelwane from Afro Latin Via Dakar
- The Awakening – Convulsions from Theo Parrish’s Black Jazz Signature
- Bugge Wesseltoft – Saisir from Bugge and Friends
- Tomasz Stanko – The Street Of Crocodiles from Polin