07 December 2016: modal and more

This week’s show was another mainly calm one, although eagle eared listeners may detect some unplanned sound clashes due to technical glitches. Click the MixCloud tab for some surprises! At the heart of the show this week were two modal pieces – one French, one British.

Cecile McLorin Salvant opened the show and provided continuity from last week’s theme. Not only does she have a superb vocal delivery but on this record is backed by one of the toughest and together rhythm sections going. They must be amazing as a unit when playing live.

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It’s the time of year when we at CJ look back and reflect on what we’ve have seen and heard. Live performance of the year for me came from Norwegian percussionist Thomas Stronin, performing with an Anglo-Norwegian line-up at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May. Intense, gripping and innovative in its approach and execution, we left feeling uplifted and inspired. In recognition, I played the title tune of the related album.

The spiritual vibe continued with some new music available from Steve’s Jazz Sounds. Pawel Wszolek is a Polish bass player leading his quintet. The title of both his album (Faith) and the tune we featured (Psalm 27) give a clear hint of spiritual leanings and the music does not disappoint. Also from Poland is Tomasz Licak – a saxophonist who moved to Denmark at the age of 19 and – like other Polish musicians before him – gained inspiration from Scandinavian jazz. His band The Beat Freaks have a hypnotic, captivating sound.

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Matthew Halsall has not appeared on Cosmic Jazz for some time and with the mood and direction of the programme it seemed cap-de-bon-esperanceappropriate to revisit his becalming, modal music. Florian Pelissier is another modalist  and his reflections on a contemporary lifestyle, or maybe the eternal jazz fan (?) via his tune The Hipster reminded me I need to play from Cap de Bon Esperance, his excellent release from earlier this year.

British label BGO have released four long out of print Arthur Blythe records released on one highly recommended 2CD set and we featured one of the standout tracks from the first of these excellent albums. The programme ended with a raucous blast courtesy of the late Gato Barbieri on his (mostly) live album release from Impulse! – Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre.

  1. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Something’s Coming from For One to Love
  2. Thomas Stronen – Time is a Blind Guide from Time is a Blind Guide
  3. Pawel Wsolek Quintet – Psalm 27 from Faith
  4. Arthur Blythe – Down San Diego Way from Lenox Avenue Breakdown
  5. Florian Pelissier Quintet – The Hipster from Cap de Bon Esperance
  6. Matthew Halsall – When the World Was One from When the World Was One
  7. The Beat Freaks – Oriented from Leon
  8. Gato Barbieri – Para Nosotros from Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre

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