On CJ this week listen via the MixCloud tab for a varied menu of jazz from the wild to the heavenly sublime.
The main feature this week was the new ECM album What Was Said from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander providing the ‘voice’ and Jarle Vespestad drums. I saw the trio perform recently and, although the set was on the short side, it was definitely an experience. The music has a calm, reverential, carefully orchestrated and spiritual quality to it. Simin Tander’s voice is in both English and Farsi and although the titles on the album are in English it is moving to hear another language – and a language of great importance to the singer although probably unfamiliar to most listeners – being communicated with such feeling on the album and in live performance.
If you want wild, free jazz Tord Gustavsen and his colleagues are probably not for you, but Charles Gayle and his trio could be up your street. Appropriately for Easter Week, came Blessed Jesus from the record Christ Everlasting – recorded live in Posznan with Charles Gayle on piano in this instance, Polish bassist Kscewery Wojconski and German drummer Klaus Kugel.
Trios were to feature heavily this week. AMC Trio from Poland followed the Charles Gayle Trio to provide a more melodic but no less interesting contrast and then came the excellent Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila with his trio recorded on the excellent British jazz label Edition Records.
Mammal Hands, who start a tour of the country in May, are an exciting trio that have a contemporary, intense, eclectic and innovative sound. They start on 01 May and begin by playing dates in Norfolk and Suffolk where they are based. Look out for them at a location near you.
There was another tune from Esperanza Spalding – perhaps the last we shall play for a while. By now you’ll either love or hate this record – it has that sort of impact.
To end the programme it was back to Brazil and a trio of jazz, bossa nova and samba that came from a group of Brazilian musicians when several of them moved to the USA after 1962 and played with US jazz musicians. By the end of the decade this exodus of musicians led to the subsequent emergence of Brazilian jazz fusion in the USA in the early 1970s. Brazilians such as Sergio Mendes, Deodato, João Donato -all of whom were integral to the earlier bossa nova scene – began to collaborate with their counterpart American jazz players – Airto Moreira joined the Miles Davis group and Dom um Romao recorded with Weather Report. All three of our Brazilian tunes this week are available on the Bossa Jazz compilation from the excellent Soul Jazz Records. Check out their website or, better still, head to Sounds of the Universe on Broadwick Street, London on the upcoming Record Store Day (16 April) and explore the world of jazz and related music on vinyl.
- Charles Gayle – Blessed Jesus from Christ Everlasting
- AMC Trio – Walking Tall from Very Keen Attack
- Alexi Tuomarila Trio – Seven Hills from Seven Hills
- Tord Gustavsen Trio – Journey Of Life/I Refuse/A Castle in Heaven from What Was Said
- Esperanza Spalding – I Want It Now from Emily’s D + Evolution
- Joao Donato – Patumbalacunde from Bossa Jazz
- Edu Lobo – Vento Bravo from Bossa Jazz
- Quarteto Novo – Vim de Santana from Bossa Jazz
Derek is listening to:
- Zara McFarlane feat. Leron Thomas – Angie La La
- Max Labor – Mama Says
- Ed Motta – Dondi
- Jonas Kulhammer – The Bear Quartet
- J.S. Bach – Chorus: Ruht wohl, ihr helligen Gebeine from the St. John Passion
Neil is listening to: