01 February 2017: Polish jazz minimalism and more

At a time when there are worldwide celebrations of the 80th birthday of US minimalist composer Philip Glass it was appropriate that the music on Cosmic Jazz this week should include two pieces of music from Polish groups inspired by this movement.

The first of these came from LAM, a trio led by Waclaw Zimpel – a clarinet player – with Krzysztof Dys on piano and Hubert Zemler on drums. The influences on the music they play stretches way beyond jazz.  US minimalism is definitely up there in music that is modern, tranquil and absorbing.  The other example came from a Polish quintet Minim Experiment – a reference to this movement even in their name and the title of the somewhat melancholic tune on the show Minm (Epilogue). As so often with these sounds that may not be too familiar outside Eastern Europe,  Steve’s Jazz Sounds has been our valued source.


The rest of the show was the usual worldwide mix of the old and the new. Two Cosmic Jazz favourites opened the show with first up the long and jazzy extended version of Feminina, an essential tune from Brazilian artist Joyce. This version is the only (very) limited release from an aborted album project under the direction of arranger Claus Ogerman. Joe Farrell provides the spirited flute solo, Mike Manieri is on vibes/marimba and the ubiquitous Nana Vasconcelos can be heard on percussion. Wayne Shorter followed with a tune strong on complexity and meaning in really quite an understated way. This comes from Shorter’s last 1960s Blue Note album, Odyssey of Iska. It’s another all star lineup, including the late and much missed Alphonse Mouzon on drums.

Martin Sjostedt is a Swedish bass player who has played with many musicians from Scandinavia and beyond, including Joe Lovano and Maria Schneider. Or rather that is how he is usually known, except that on the album Whereabouts he appears as a piano player alongside a German trumpet player and a Swedish tenor. Good it is too.

Several of this week’s selections came from music Neil left behind for me to play and this included the tune from young British multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger etc. etc. Jacob Collier. What innovative, exciting and unpredictable music.

The show ended with a truly wonderful piece of music from Polish trumpeter Jerzy Malek leading a quintet of Polish and US musicians. They are Stephen Riley on tenor, Peter Wylezol on piano, Michal Baranski bass and Eric Allen drums. Check the wonderful piano lead from Wylezol followed by the rapturous trumpet from Malek. The tune has to be played again – maybe even next week.

Back this week is our listening to… feature with music from both Derek and Neil. Check out the hyperlinks below and see and hear what we’re listening to.

  1. Joyce – Feminina from unreleased album Natureza
  2. Wayne Shorter – De Pois Do Amor O Vazio (After Love Emptiness) from Odyssey of Iska
  3. LAM – Lam 1 (Part 1 ) from LAM
  4. Minim Experiment – Minim (Epilogue) from Dark Matter
  5. Martin Sjostedt – Bueno from Whereabouts
  6. Jacob Collier – Hajanga from In My Room
  7. Jerzy Malek – Stalgia from Stalgia


Derek is listening to:

Neil is listening to:

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