23 November: outside and inside

Bobby Wellins

This week Cosmic Jazz acknowledges the death of tenor player Bobby Wellins and his immeasurable contribution to the British jazz scene. There have been many jazz solos over the years that have achieved legendary status – whether Coleman Hawkins on Body and Soul, Art Tatum on Tea for Two or, of course, Charlie Parker on Koko – but Bobby Wellins is definitely up there too with the perfection that stan-tracey-under-milk-woodis his solo on Starless and Bible Black. No matter how many times you hear this, it’s impossible not to be moved by what Wellins creates in just over three minutes. We featured the title track from Stan Tracey’s suite based on the Dylan Thomas classic text. Why not explore the Andrew Sinclair/Richard Burton film version or add to this something really different: an extended loop take on the original that captures the monochrome Wellins’ atmosphere using a moody video image.

Also dhafer-youssefon this week’s show was another track from one of 2016’s top releases – the new album from vocalist and oud player Dhafer Youssef, an old favourite from Scottish trumpeter Colin Steele and more from the exciting electric piano trio led by drummer Thomas Grimmonprez,

Derek also featured sax players Carlos Garnett and Fredrik Kronkvist and drummer Otis Brown. The show ended with another brazilian-beats-4nod to Brazil – this time, a rarity out of Japan that appears on the excellent compilation Brazilian Beats 4. This consistently excellent compilation series can now be bought in a budget priced box set from the always reliable Mr Bongo record label.

So why our title this week? Well, jazz musicians usually choose to play either inside (within) a tune’s harmonic structure or outside (beyond the chord changes). There’s examples of both in our music this week – but let’s check out a master of the ‘outside’ – Thelonius Monk in this rare live performance of Rhythm a Ning, featuring Charlie Rouse on tenor, Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums.

  1. Dhafer Youssef – Al-Akhtal Rhapsody Part 1 from Diwan of Beauty and Odd
  2. Carlos Garnett – Let Us Go (to Higher Heights) from Journey to Enlightenment
  3. Colin Steele – The Journey Home from The Journey Home
  4. Thomas Grimmonprez – Spicy Chocolate from Kaleidoscope
  5. Otis Brown III feat. Bilal – The Thought Of You Pt III from The Thought Of You
  6. Stan Tracey – Under Milk Wood from Under Milk Wood
  7. Fredrik Kronkvist – Straight To The Point from Ignition
  8. Sonia Rosa and Yuji Ohno – Casa Forte (album version) from Brazilian Beats 4

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