This image is of the first jazz record I ever bought just after hearing live jazz for the first time at a college in North London. I discovered exciting sounds that at the time were new to me. The band was The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet. I guess that night has continued to influence my musical tastes and my record collection.
This week’s show paid respects to three late jazz artists all of whom died this last month: Don Rendell (born 1926), Coleridge Goode (born 1914) and Mark Murphy (born 1932). They were not, as I said on the programme, from the British jazz scene, although all of them contributed to it. Don Rendell was UK born and based; Coleridge Goode was born in Jamaica but most of his playing career was in the UK; Mark Murphy was born in the USA but lived in Europe in the 1960s, frequently visited the UK and was later an important part of the British jazz dance scene.
Neil has already posted extensive notes about Mark Murphy on this site. I played three Murphy tunes – an early treatment of My
Favourite Things, his unique take on Herbie Hancock’s Sly and a driving version of Milton Nascimento’s Empty Faces. There is nothing to add to Neil’s comments, other than to record that I am pleased to say that I saw Mark Murphy at the Bull’s Head in Barnes, not long after the first jazz experience mentioned above. Neil notes: The track played as Dingwalls from the Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls compilation is actually Milton Nascimento’s Empty Faces – one of many Brazilian tunes recorded by Murphy.
Soprano and tenor sax, clarinet and flute player Don Rendell was one of those innovative British jazz players in the 1960s whose music has stood the test of time and who illustrated the strength of the British jazz scene back then. It is fitting that BGO Records and the Impressed label have overseen the re-releasing of some of this great music. BGO re-released two Don Rendell/Ian Carr records: Shades of Blue and Dusk Fire, both of which we have featured on previous editions of CJ. I played Dusk Fire, a Michael Garrick composition on which Don Rendell played soprano sax. The tune should really qualify as a Cosmic Jazz essential – it’s certainly one of our all time favourites and is a deep and moving tune. Don Rendell played compositions of his own and Tan Samfu was an interesting example – named after a samfu costume that his friend Gerry Tan brought back from the Far East. Don Rendell was also for much of his life a respected music educator working with students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Coleridge Goode who has died aged 100, was a bass player who left Jamaica to study engineering in Glasgow but stayed on in the UK to become an important jazz bass player. It was with the radical Jamaican saxophonist Joe Harriott that Goode’s innovative bass lines got widely noticed. Abstract, released in 1964, was an important example and the tune Tonal highlights the strength of his playing. His bass was added in 1999 to Love For Sale, a tune recorded years earlier by the Joe Harriott Duo.
An Impressed re-pressing in 2004 was the album Troppo from pianist Michael Garrick, who was not only a vital part of the Rendell/Carr Quintet but also used Coleridge Goode on his seminal record Jazz Praises, which I once saw him perform in Norwich Cathedral. Garrick also played with Joe Harriott and Fellow Feeling is a moving dedication by him to Joe Harriott. Among the musicians on the recording are both Don Rendell and Coleridge Goode – a fitting tribute to both of them as well.
- The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Dusk Fire from Dusk Fire
- The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Tan Samfu from Dusk Fire
- The Joe Harriott Quintet – Tonal from Abstract
- Joe Harriott Duo (with Coleridge Goode added) – Love For Sale from Genius
- Mark Murphy – My Favorite Things from Rah!
- Mark Murphy – Sly from Stolen Moments
- Mark Murphy – Empty Faces from Mark Murphy Sings
- Michael Garrick – Fellow Feeling from Troppo
- The Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet – Spooks from Dusk Fire