Cosmic Jazz is back and, to mark our return, the programme features a few favourites.
One such is drummer Otis Brown III – heard here in two opening tracks. First, supporting Somi on her Nigeria inspired album The Lagos Music Salon and then on his own record The Thought Of You, where on You’re Still the One the jazz cool but warm and enticing voice of Gretchen Parlato draws you in. You can see Gretchen Parlato appearing in her own right here.
Any Cosmic Jazz programme of favourites could not exclude Kamasi Washington, an ever-present artist on the show nor alto player Kenny Garrett. This week we chose the title track from his award-winning album Pushing The World Away. The memory of seeing his quartet perform in such a close and intimate setting at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street, London a few years ago still lingers firmly in the memory…
Keyboard player Bugge Wesseltoft recorded an excellent album in 2015 with his friends – including trumpeter Erik Truffaz who has his own excellent new album out this year. I shall play tunes from it in coming weeks but, for this edition of Cosmic Jazz, check out the collaboration on the track Play It.
Songs by Johnny Nash have not often appeared on Cosmic Jazz but I simply love the version of I Can see Clearly Now by Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce with Roy’s son Gabriel featured on lead vocal and trumpet. In case you do not reach this stage of the programme via MixCloud you can hear it here and at the same time view the bleak and alluring cover of the album.
Latin and soul – probably more accurately a combination of both – but all with New York connections, completed the show. The wonderful Charlie Palmieri of New York latino heritage started the segment with a tune that was re-released on a compilation of his work on the Atlantic Masters series. Elements of Life from Eclipse and Jocelyn Brown from the album Nuyorican Soul continued the latin New York sounds. The link between the two is arranger and DJ Louis Vega. Best known as a record producer now, Vega comes from latin royalty. His uncle was Hector Lavoe of the celebrated Fania All Stars, and Vega has lent his name to hundreds of records since the 1990s when he began DJing and remixing with fellow house star Kenny Gonzales in the Masters at Work partnership. Here at CJ we always emphasize the close links between much Latin music and jazz – just one small part of that global jazz thing.
- Somi – Four African Women from The Lagos Music Salon
- Otis Brown III (feat. Gretchen Parlato) – You’re Still The One from The Thought Of You
- Kamasi Washington – Leroy and Lanisha from The Epic
- Kenny Garrett – Pushing The World Away from Pushing The World Away
- Bugge Wesseltoft – Play It from Bugge and Friends
- Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce – I Can See Clearly Now from Complicated Day
- Charlie Palmieri – Mambo Show from Latin Bugalu
- Elements of Life – Berimbau from Eclipse
- Jocelyn Brown – I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun from Nuyorican Soul
Derek is listening to:
- Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance
- Bobby Hutcherson /Harold Land Quintet – The Creators
- Sweet Talks – Nawa To Be Husband
- Sun Ra – Space Is The Place
- Miles Davis – Mademoiselle Mabry (Miss Mabry)
Neil is listening to: