16 March 2016: tribute to Nana Vasconcelos

nana vasconcelosClick our CJ MixCloud tab left to hear a show that begins with a tribute to the late Brazilian percussionist and berimbau player Nana Vasconcelos (02 August 1944 – 09 March 2016).

The first tune was recorded by Vasconcelos in 2014 for the Sonzeira album produced by Gilles Peterson. Sean Kuti is one of the voices. Nana then provides conga and berimbau to the rasping tenor of Gato Barbieri on Carnavalito recorded in 1973. In a different mood, he played talking drum and percussion for Jan Garbarek in a 1980 trio recording on ECM that also included John Abercrombijan garbarek eventyre. Nana made several recordings for artists on the ECM label, including the fellow Brazilian Egberto Gismonti. The three tunes I played this week offered a superb illustration of the range of his work and the inventiveness and sensitivity of his playing which you can also see in this live concert footage from 1983.

As promised, there was a return to the new recording by Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D + Evolution. It so happens that there is one of those fun (?) or trivial (?) quick 20 question interviews with her in the March 2016 edition of Echoes, a UK-based black music magazine. In this interview esperanza spalding D + evolutionshe identifies Judas (the tune I played this week) as her favourite own song. Among other questions you may be interested to know the answers to, Spalding names Wayne Shorter as the best musician she has worked with, The Fire Next Time as a book worth reading, Laura Mvula’s as the next album she will buy, Janelle Monae as the best live gig she ever saw and Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now as the song she wished she had written.

Also in the show this week were two excursions to Poland: firstly, for the wonderfully named Obama International who include British trumpeter Tom Arthurs on their Live in Minsk recording. The second was for another of those great Polish trios, the AMC Trio with Three Knight’s Chant.

Also I returned to music from the last year or two. We don’t just stick to new music on Cosmic Jazz and are happy to return to recent releases we like as well as older music. Otis Brown III was a great favourite among the records I discovered in 2015, although it was recorded in 2014. The sublime vocals of Gretchen Parlato on You’rotis brown iii the thought of youe Still The One get me every time. David Murray had the ubiquitous Gregory Porter on Army of the Faithful (Joyful Noise) and the combination of his now easily recognisable vocals and the free tenor playing of David Murray makes for a great mix. CJ continues to feature freedom songs and Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson did just that for us once again with The Liberation (Red, Black and Green) from the album we showcased earlier this month – The First Minute of  New Day.

  1. Nana Vasconcelos/Sonzeira – Where Na Na Hides from Brasil Bam Bam Bam
  2. Gato Barbieri – Carnavalito from Fenix
  3. Jan Garbarek – Lillekort from Eventyr
  4. Esperanza Spalding – Judas from Emily’s D + Evolution
  5. Obama International – Idzie Bakiem from Live in Minsk Mazowiecki
  6. Otis Brown III feat Gretchen Parlato – You’re Still The One from The Thought Of You
  7. David Murray Infinity Quartet feat Gregory Porter – Army Of The Faithful (Joyful Noise) from Be My Monster Love
  8. Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson – The Liberation (Red Black and  Green) from The First Minute of a New Day

Derek is listening to:

Neil is listening to:

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