What do you do if the music from a jazz label sounds great when you play it? Answer – explore the label further. I could not resist coming back to the Black Jazz record label after last week’s show. Firstly, I returned to the band The Awakening from their album The Mirage. They were a hard bop /soul jazz/ free jazz sextet from the 1970s and the tune selected this week included some strong percussive work from Arlington Davis Jr. Following this in a similar funked up jazz vibe came Calvin Keys with a track on the Black Jazz compilation put together by Theo Parrish.
The Cosmic Jazz Essential Tune this week came from Gary Bartz. I’ve Known Rivers was inspired by a Langston Hughes poem and is another inspirational, conscious and uplifting anthem of US jazz from the 1970s. It was recorded on 07 July 1973 at the Montreux Jazz Festival with a band that included the 17 year old Howard King on drums.
Charles Gayle returned with in a more sedate style with his sax calling out with a North African feel backed by repetitive bass patterns and subtle drumming from his European fellow band members. I feel sure Charles Gayle would have approved of the juxtaposition of his band with Polish tenor saxophonist Dariusz Herbasz and his contemplative, spiritual Prayer For Peace.
Polish pianist Michael Wierba and his Doppelganger Project featuring vocalist Patricia Zarychta presented another tune from their excellent Orange Sky album.
I like the album Nueva Era from Cuban vocalist Dayme Arocena. Madres intriguingly combines traditional and modern Cuban sound with beats and a touch of jazz..
I have not forgotten Somi and her superb album from last year which was inspired by her time in Nigeria. It so happens, though, that her drummer is Otis Brown III, whose album is another 2014 CJ favourite and I finished the show with a brief taste of his The Way (Truth and Life). Perhaps it should return in full as a Cosmic Jazz Essential?
- The Awakening – March On from Mirage
- Calvin Keys – B.E. from Theo Parrish’s Black Jazz Signature
- Gary Bartz – I’ve Known Rivers from I’ve Known Rivers and Other Bodies
- Charles Gayle Trio – His Grace from Christ Everlasting
- Dariusz Herbasz – Prayer For Peace from Joy of Friendship
- Michael Wierba Doppelganger Project – Wosna from Orange Sky
- Dayme Arocena – Madres from Nueva Era
- Somi – Ginger Me Slowly from The Lagos Music Salon
- Otis Brown III – The Way (Truth and Life) from The Thought of You