Week ending 03 November 2018: the Black Renaissance annual appearance

Cosmic Jazz regulars who click the Mix-Cloud tab will know there are a few records that we love to play again and again. But there is only one that I vow to play at least once every calendar year and that is Black Renaissance, the band that was led by keyboard player Harry Whitaker – probably best known for his work with Roy Ayers. I have described before how amazing this tune is and so there’s no need to repeat myself. Just click the tab and listen for yourself to enjoy 23 minutes + of pure rapture and delight.

There were more selections from my colleague Neil this week, including an interesting tune from a new group – Spiral Deluxe. Assembled by Detroit techno guru and drummer Jeff Mills, Spiral Deluxe contains one standout track that alone is worth the price of entry. E=MC2 is a live-in-the-studio improvisation that pulses with life. Much of this is due to the bass playing of Kenji Hino – son of trumpeter Terumasa Hino. The EP Voodoo Magic was recorded in Paris in a two-day session. Recommended.

Soul in the Hole is a great album title and another of those excellent compilations from a British label (in this case BBE) and compiled by Sadar Bahar, self-professedly one of the World’s Deepest DJs, includes the excellent Tornado from sax player Sonny Stitt, featuring Eddie Russ on Rhodes piano. Excellent.

Neil has been championing the music of another drummer, Makaya McCraven, for a while now. He’s also been called a cutting-edge beat scientist and this certainly reflects the way his music is composed. Following on from the ‘cut and paste’ techniques of jazz pioneer producers like the great Teo Macero, McCraven assembles on his new 2CD Universal Beings album what he calls organic beat music using live recordings from four different venues, including one at the Total Refreshment Centre in London. McCraven was born in Paris, the son of a US jazz drummer and a Hungarian folk singer, but raised in Massachusetts and is now working out of Chicago. He is playing in the UK this month at the London Jazz Festival (LJF). The UK contributors include Nubya Garcia (who is on the bill with him at the LJF), Daniel Casimir and Ashley Henry. Very highly recommended. Tenor player and Sons of Kemet leader, Ashley Hutchings appears on the Chicago side.

Poland is never far away from the programme. This week the selection came from the Patrycjusz Gruszecki Trio and a debut album Something About. The leader is a trumpet/flugelhorn player supported here by drums and Hammond organ which definitely provides a swing/groove feel. The title tune on the show this week moves along very nicely – it’s the Hammond effect indeed.

  1. Black Renaissance – Black Renaissance from Body, Mind & Spirit
  2. Spiral Deluxe – E=Mc2 from Voodoo Magic
  3. Sonny Stitt (feat. Eddie Russ) – Tornado from Sadar Bahar presents Soul in the Hole (A Journey into Funk/Soul/Boogie & Disco)
  4. Patrycjusz Druszecki Trio – Something About from Something About
  5. Makaya McCraven (feat. Joel Ross) – Young Genius from Universal Beings

Neil is listening to:


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