This week’s Cosmic Jazz features the usual eclectic range of improvised music from around the world – Mali, China, Jamaica, the USA and homegrown spiritual jazz from the UK.
Neil notes: This was the first of my final two shows for a while – but I’ll be back later in the year. This week began with a short edit from the new arrangement of Terry Riley’s classic work In C, a piece which has influenced a whole generation of contemporary composers. In C turned 50 years old in 2014 and this new interpretation reinvents this iconic composition with a host of Malian kora players and percussionists along with guests from Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project including producer Brian Eno and Andi Toma from the group Mouse on Mars.
Dou Wei is a Beijing multi-instrumentalist who has been involved in a wide range of musical genres from heavy metal to ambient but on this 2CD live release he explores contemporary jazz. Sadly, you probably won’t be able to track this one down anywhere outside Beijing. It seemed appropriate to follow this with the very special 2015 album from drummer and producer Emanative (Nick Woodmansey) whose British jazz supergroup features a whole host of big names – Jessica Lauren, Four Tet, The Pyramids and Finn Peters – all previously played on CJ. The Light Years of the Darkness is a stunning work and well worth getting hold of. You can find it on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label.
Trombonist Rico Rodriguez died last week. He may have been most famous for his work with the Specials but he’d been a fixture on the Jamaican music scene since the late 1950s. We featured his take (pun intended) on a Dave Brubeck classic. Cory Henry is the keyboard player from another CJ favourite Snarky Puppy – but we featured a great track from his new album First Steps. We always enjoy the work of the late Yusef Lateef on the programme and this week it was the turn of a soul jazz classic from the really rather weird album The Case of the Three Sided Dream in Audio Color – Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs.
Up next was a track from the recent Miles Davis at Newport 4CD set. This was really Newport Jazz on tour in Europe (it was recorded live in Berlin) and it featured one of Miles’ most incendiary groups. The music is loud, raw and not for the faint hearted. However, it makes a lot more sense when you see it – check out this week’s video. Ronnie Scott was on hand to make the introduction (no jokes!) and then Miles launches the band into Turnaroundphrase.
We ended with a track from the long awaited release from singer D’Angelo. Is it jazz? Well, there’s a jazz sensibility at work in both the structure and the instrumentation – and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sugah Daddy is covered by at least one bonafide jazzer before the end of the year.
There was no Cosmic Jazz Essential Tune this week, but this video is a teaser for an upcoming number (thanks Jacob!)… Both video tracks are fiery examples of jazz on the edge – enjoy them both.
- Africa Express – Mali in C (edit) – from Mali in C
- Dou Wei and the Not Sure Yet – Republican Guard from Three States, Four Scores
- Emanative – Fire (feat. Collocutor and Finn Peters) from The Light Years of the Darkness
- Rico Rodriguez – Take Five from Roots to the Bone
- Cory Henry – Afro Brooklyn (feat. Phil Lassiter) from First Steps
- Yusef Lateef – Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs – from The Case of The Three Sided Dream in Audio Color
- Miles Davis – Introduction (by Ronnie Scott)/Turnaroundphrase from Miles Davis at Newport (1955-1975)
- D’Angelo – Sugah Daddy from Black Messiah