Welcome back to Cosmic Jazz! Have you missed us? Well, here’s a sparkling show to start your new year musical detox programme. Just click on the arrow below our Listen Again title on the left of your screen. The music represents the broad spectrum we love here on the show – from 1950s ‘word jazz’ to Japanese nu- jazz, from Brazilian samba funk to the best in jazz rock.
We began the show with pianist Marc Cary and and his Focus Trio with their interpretation of Abbey Lincoln’s The Music is the Magic and then followed this with the unmistakable voice of Ken Nordine and a track from the first of his Word Jazz albums. Nordine is the voice over artist par excellence and has been plying his craft since the early 1950s. His deep, resonant voice has been heard in hundreds of television commercials and film trailers and is instantly recognisable. Japanese nu-jazz trio United Future Organization (UFO) sampled Nordine in their I Love My Baby track. Derek followed this with two of his current favourite female vocalists – Dayme Arocena from Cuba and Cecile McLorin Salvant from Florida, USA and Neil kept the mood with a track from Brazil’s Nilson Matta and his hommage to the classic Black Orpheus recording. This featured American singer Gretchen Parlato and – as Neil explained in the show – he was reminded of her voice when listening to the work of Norwegian singer Sheila Simmenes – someone we’ll be featuring on CJ in coming weeks. Sheila has a strong Brazilian connection, recording there each year, but her work covers a dazzling range of styles. You can hear many of these by listening to the extraordinary diversity in her Soundcloud page. Check it out and see what you think.
Neil followed this with a Brazilian classic from Trio Mocoto – their irresistible Swinga Sambaby. Mocoto were well known for backing Jorge Ben on some of his classic albums in the late 1960s but after disappearing for a while, they returned in 2001 through Belgium’s Crammed record label and their version of samba funk continues to delight audiences. Check them out here in a rare piece of live video from a 1972 Brazilian TV show. Despite the schizophrenic range of styles, there’s a lot of jazz in there (as well as bizarre references to Bacharach’s Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head!).
Up next was Weather Report in an extended live version of their Black Market album centrepiece Madagascar. This version was recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1980 and captures the way in which the band were able to go way beyond the confines of the jazzrock styles of the day. It’s worth listening to a whole concert live to understand how this quartet/quintet revolutionised popular jazz in the 1970s. Listen to them here from 1978 in a complete concert from Offenbach, Germany. We finished this week’s show with another Norwegian and long-time friend of Cosmic Jazz, Bugge Wesseltoft. His new band features trumpeter Erik Truffaz and DJ/producer Joe Claussell – great friends to have around! You can listen to them here in a performance from the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2011. We’ll play more from the album in next week’s show.
- Marc Cary Focus Trio – The Music is the Magic from Four Directions
- Ken Nordine – My Baby from Word Jazz
- UFO – I Love My Baby (My Baby Loves Jazz) from Jazzin’ 1991-92
- Dayme Arocena – Come to Me from Nueva Era
- Cecile McLorin Salvant – Something’s Coming from For One to Love
- Nilson Matta feat. Gretchen Parlato – Eu E O Meu Amor/Lamento No Morro from Nilson Matta’s Black Orpheus
- Trio Mocoto – Swinga Sambaby from The Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul
- Weather Report – Madagascar from The Legendary Live Tapes
- Bugge Wesseltoft – Play It from Bugge & Friends