07 June 2017: featuring Steve Lehman and Selebeyone








Cosmic Jazz has always taken a broad definition of what constitutes jazz. Purists may not like some of the tunes we play, but here at CJ we believe that the influence of jazz is wider than any genre and that cross currents diversify and grow the music into new structures and styles.

The featured album this week from Steve Lehman & Selebeyone is an interesting exemplar of this. Selebeyone is a word in the Wolof language spoken in the West African country of Senegal – it means intersection. Kwami Coleman’s album sleeve notes explain how the word converges idiomatically with French and Arabic and conveys the intersection of forces in motion on the record from hip hop to emceeing and djing/electronic musical production to jazz. As  Coleman states “For Selebeyone, when distinct languages, musical idioms and cultural origins intermingle, the product is a confluence of words, sonic textures, and ideas”. In practical terms, this means alto sax player Steve Lehman is joined by Maciek Lasserre on soprano, Carlos Homs on piano and keys, Drew Gress on acoustic bass, Damion Reid on drums – and also two hip hop vocalists: Gaston Bandimic in Wolof and HPrizm in English. Check out this exciting music with an open mind and ears.

We began this week’s show with more Polish music from sax player Tomasz Wendt and his tune For D.  Also featured this week was yet another of the outstanding group of jazz musicians from Poland. Tomasz Chyla is a violinist who leads a quintet including musicians active with other Polish groups – among them Algorhythm whom we’ve featured on the programme. Chyla takes a clear lead on the this debut album Eternal Entropy, but there is much interplay with the other musicians, especially Szymon Burnos on piano and Piotr Checki on sax. The music is both delicate and strong, and on the tune Three Shades of Black builds up to great intensity.

The impending opening of the 2017 Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk UK – a festival founded by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears – marked an appropriate time to recognise the work of the Aldeburgh Foundation which has promoted musicians beyond the classical origins of the festival. Arnie Somogyi’s Ambulance were the first jazz musicians to gain a music-making residency at the Snape Maltings home of the Foundation. Pianist Tim Lapthorn composed Solace to describe the ambience as he played solo in one of the rooms at Snape.

Finally, there is always room on the programme to play some of our favourite tunes – the first from veteran pianist Ahmad Jamal whose new album Marseille is just out and the second from legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, who is the subject of a new documentary film Chasing Trane out later this year. Interestingly, 86 year old Jamal features rapper Abd Al Malik accompanying his regular extended trio – listen here.

  1. Tomasz Wendt Trio – For D from Behind the Strings
  2. Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Hybrid from Selebeyone
  3.  Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Dualism from Selebeyone
  4.  Steve Lehman & Selebeyone – Bamba from Selebeyone
  5. John Coltrane – Stellar Regions from Stellar Regions
  6. Arnie Somogyi’s Ambulance – Solace from Accident and Insurgency
  7. Tomasz Chyla Quintet – Three Shades of Black from Eternal Entropy
  8. Tomasz Chyla Quintet – Last Hope from Eternal Entropy
  9. Ahmad Jamal – Sunday Afternoon from Live in Marciac


Derek is listening to:

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