30 September 2015: Jamal live!

This week’s Cosmic Jazz featured new music from jazz artists old and young. Touch the Mixcloud tab and enjoy the music.

jamal marciacThe programme started with two tunes from Ahmad Jamal and the newly released CD and DVD Live in Marciac. This was recorded at the Marciac Jazz Festival on 5 August 2014 and is now available on Jazz Village records, distributed through Harmonia Mundi. The line-up is an expanded trio with Ahmad Jamal on piano, Reginald Veal on double bass, Herlin Riley on drums and percussionist Manolo Badrena, who appeared on Weather Report’s classic 1977 album Heavy WeatherThe first tune, Sunday Afternoon, begins with a fine double bass solo from Veal but also noticeable on the recording is the imaginative percussion of Badrena. Ahmad Jamal may be in his mid-eighties but his strident, upfront playing sounds as strong as ever. Apparently, he is one of the few musicians that received unqualified praise from Miles Davis. There has been some criticism of Jamal’s over-reliance on standards, but when you hear what he can do with Blue Moon, this seems mere carping.

Our CJ Essential this week was the title track from Wayne Shorter’s Blue Note classic album Speak No Evil. This should be anwayne shorter speak no evil essential part of anyone’s jazz collection – Richard Cook and Brian Morton in their Penguin Guide to Jazz call this “by far Shorter’s most satisfying record” and justly so. We followed this with a repeat play of the Jelle van Giel Group’s tune The Truth. Van Giel is a young Belgian drummer whose septet plays music with jazz, rock and African influences. Tenor sax player Krzysztof Urbanski hails from Poland (unsurprisingly) but is now resident in Yorkshire – hence the title of the tune we played from his excellent album History of Tomorrow, recorded here with some fine British musicians included Stuart McCallum on guitar. You can see him here with his group performing the track Life.

chick corea light as a featherIn a nod to Cosmic Jazz’s live appearances at Snape’s upcoming Flipside Festival was the Brazilian flavoured title track Light as Feather from Chick Corea’s Return to Forever group. This was the second outing for the first incarnation of a group that would gradually evolve into the jazzrock powerhouse you can experience here. On this album, however, they retain strong Brazilian influences through the presence of Airto Moreira on percussion and Flora Purim on vocals.

Finally CJ ended with an new(ish) release that we’ll return to in forthcoming shows – the track Seven Hills from Finnish pianist Alex Toumarila’s debut release on Edition Records.

  1. Ahmad Jamal – Sunday Afternoon from Live in Marciac
  2. Ahmad Jamal – Blue Moon from Live in Marciac
  3. Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil from Speak No Evil
  4. Jelle van Giel Group – The Truth – Song for Everyone
  5. Krzysztof Urbanski and Urban Jazz Society – Yorkshire Tales Chapter III from History of Tomorrow
  6. Chick Corea – Light as a Feather from Return to Forever
  7. Alexi Tuomarila Trio – Seven Hills from Seven Hills