Week ending 21 September 2019: the Cosmic Jazz philosophy

We’ve been playing our Cosmic Jazz shows for more than a decade now and some key principles remain. Of course, we really enjoy hearing the music as it is played but the key is our freedom in terms of music selection that makes the show pretty unique. We have never been tied to playing the latest sounds, or old classic jazz or things in between. We try to play a mix of all these elements. What is more, we play tunes that stretch the outer boundaries of what could be termed jazz and we play music from across the globe. It all depends on how the mood takes us and what music is available. This week’s show is a good example of how many of the above can be combined into one hour-long show. Click the MixCloud tab and discover for yourself.

There was a fiery start to the show. Something came up recently on my mix of tunes from Poland’s Emil Miszk & the Soul Syndicate. It was Chorale (Ballad No. 31) from the album Don’t Hesitate. Emil is a trumpeter leading a band of eight musicians  whose music screamed into my headphones, There is drama, fine improvisation and screeching trumpet sounds. Magnificent and just the way to start a show. As we always say, to get this and other Polish music check Steve’s Jazz Sounds

The celebration of eighty years of Blue Note Records continues. This week it was trumpeter Donald Byrd, an artist who crossed a few boundaries himself. The album Black Byrd recorded in 1972 provides evidence of this. It is music intended to be “a sheer delight for dancers & choreographers”. It was intended to revitalise jazz beats and traditional sounds with the new “magnetic” sounds of the time. Artists on the album such as the Mizell Brothers, Joe Sample and Wilton Felder all strayed in their time beyond the jazz confines.

There was another track from the new Jazzmeia Horn album Love and Liberation. Most of the tunes on the album are self-penned but the selection this week was written by George Duke and involved a duet with drummer/vocalist Jamison Ross. It was good to see a positive review of the album in the October edition of Jazzwise Magazine.

The Ronnie Scott Club in Soho, London is a legend in terms of jazz in the UK. The club is celebrating sixty years of presenting the very top jazz artists and the above-mentioned Jazzwise Magazine includes a free CD on which many of the artists, including the man Ronnie Scott himself, talk about and joke about the club and the music. There is also some music on the CD recorded live at the club, including a 1966 piece from Cosmic Jazz favourite  Yusef Lateef, that amply illustrated his skills with percussion instruments from around the world.

The global images continued with Children of the World from Elements of Life from their album EclipseThis was a release on the classic Latin label Fania. All the songs were produced and arranged by Louie Vega and a long list of vocalists and musicians includes the outstanding percussionist Luisito Quintero who has appeared on the show playing with other musicians and in his own right as a band leader. A fitting sequel came from Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and multi -genre musician Ed Motta.

It was back to Poland for the final track. Przemyslaw Florczak is a sax player, one of what would appear to be an endless stream of fine jazz musicians trained at the Academy of Music in Katowice. The quartet has the usual sax/drums/double bass format but instead of piano includes organ.

  1. Emil Miszk & the Soul Syndicate – Chorale (Ballad No. 31) from Don’t Hesitate
  2. Donald Byrd – Flight Time from Black Byrd
  3. Jazzmeia Horn feat. Jamison Ross – Reflections of my Heart from Love & Liberation
  4. Yusef Lateef – Song of Delilah from Jazzwise Ronnie Scott Anniversary CD
  5. Elements of Life – Children of the World from Eclipse
  6. Ed Motta – Flores da Vida Real from AOR
  7. Przemyslaw Florczak Quartet – Straight Story from Image Of My Personality

Derek is listening to…

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