Week ending 11 May 2019: CJ favourites

This week it was a pre-recorded show. Usually, on these occasions I choose a mixture of music with some old Cosmic Jazz favourites thrown in; this week was no exception.

We still love the Sarah Tandy record Infection in the Sentence. It is still garnering positive comments and sounds as good as ever a few weeks after its release. You can catch her stunning piano/keyboard playing with her own group but also with other groups such as Maisha or Camilla George: see her if you can and if you do not own this record it is a must buy.

The next tune was a self-indulgent luxury. I have played it before on the show and will probably play it again. Freddie Hubbard’s First Light is a warm , uplifting joyous number and the solo from George Benson is simply something else. Also on the record are Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette and Airto Moreira. It’s a CTI lable classic and well worth getting hold of if you don’t own it already.

Next it was back to the contemporary jazz with the Brooklyn New York recorded music of the  James Brandon Lewis Trio, one of several tough-sounding and emerging groups that we have featured on the show. Lewis has a new album just out and we shall be featuring it on the show soon.

From then, it was back to the past – starting with world music pioneer, trumpeter Don Cherry and his take on Pharoah Sanders’ perennial The Creator Has a Master Plan from the very cosmic Organic Music Society album. Cherry, like so many jazz greats, got even more exploratory as he aged, and this 1972 album (first appearance on CD in 2011) is probably as far out as Cherry ever got. As we often do on the show, this was a second recent airing for a tune in all its versions that we love. For a different take on this classic, try Leon Thomas’ yodelling (yes!) vocal version right here.

Pianist Andrew Hill is someone we never forget on Cosmic Jazz. He was probably one of the ‘freer’, in jazz music terms, of the musicians on the Blue Note label. His music demands attention: it’s certainly not as easy on the ear as some of the label’s other music of the classic era, but it is essential jazz. The album Black Fire was recorded in 1963 with  Roy Haynes on drums, Richard Davis on bass and Joe Henderson on tenor sax – an all-star lineup. Hill said “We really enjoy playing together. Joe understands me and I understand Joe in the best possible way; that is, we know how to surprise and inspire each other”. Sounds like the perfect combination.

There was a somewhat contrasting sound to follow – probably a strange choice, but I think I got away with it. I doubt if an Ashley Beedle remix of Ricardo Moreira has ever followed Andrew Hill on a show… A first, and perhaps it may never happen again.  Listen and judge for yourself whether it was a successful juxtaposition.

Manchester-based DJ Colin Curtis has served his time with distinction supplying jazz/soul/funk music to dance-floors. His 2CD compilation Colin Curtis presents Jazz Dance Fusion is a showcase for many of his floor fillers from the Muse record label and it is strongly recommended. Artists familiar to Cosmic Jazz followers can be found on the record – for example, Mark Murphy, Dom Um Romao and Charles Earland (whom we played last week). The selection this time came from alto sax player Richie Cole. There are two tracks from him on the compilation – both excellent – although I have to add a word of caution if you are looking  to hear more of this jazz artist. I have bought records by Richie Cole and have found that some of the tunes are – shall we say – a little easy on the ear. Not on this record though.

There was a lively ending to the show with a Blue Mitchell piece from the first compilation assembled by Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller. Another in the series – this time focusing on more obscure soul favourites – is due soon.

  1. Sarah Tandy – Snake in the Grass from Infection in the Sentence
  2. Freddie Hubbard – First Light from First Light
  3. James Brandon Lewis – Say What from No Filter
  4. Don Cherry – The Creator Has a Master Plan from Organic Music Society
  5. Andrew Hill – Subterfuge from Black Fire
  6. Ricardo Moreira (Ashley Beedle remix) – Feel Like Making Love from I Like It Like That
  7. Richie Cole – Harold’s House of Jazz from Colin Curtis presents Jazz Dance Fusion
  8. Blue Mitchell – Mr. Hermano from Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller present Jazz on the Corner

Derek is listening to…..

  1. Ezra Collective – Juan Pablo
  2. United Future Organization – Loud Minority
  3. Nick Walters – Dear Old Thing
  4. Steve Williamson – A Waltz For Grace
  5. Beres Hammond – Give it all you’ve got


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