Week ending 16 November 2019: classic Latin + more!

This week was a pre-recorded show which usually means some classic tunes from the past – and this week was no exception. We are still having some technical problems, so to access the show you should head to IO Radio Mixcloud and scroll down to the show dated 13 November 2019.

The show began in riotous and joyous style courtesy of Eddie Palmieri – pianist, New York born but of Puerto Rican heritage and part of the roster of great Latin artists who featured on the Fania Records label. Palmieri was a key figure in the music of East Harlem’s El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) district. He formed his own bands – La Perfecta and and La Perfecta II – and often played with others in the vibrant Latin scene in New York at the time. Now aged 85 he continues to record, releasing the Full Circle album in 2018. Check out the complete album here on Bandcamp.

Reeds player Carlos Garnett in 1974 was on a Journey to Enlightenment. I guess many people were at that time. It would seem that Caribbean Sun was one of the places for him to seek out for this enlightenment as he sings on the tune. Actually, it has to be said that whilst his reed playing is good, his vocals leave much to be desired. Forget that and listen to the music and long-time collaborator Hubert Eaves’ contribution on piano.

Argentinian sax player Gato Barbieri was someone else who’s unmistakable tone on tenor sax could be found both in some blistering jazz and some very soupy, saccharine middle of the road moments. It’s best to start with his music on the great Impulse! label and enjoy that fiery, explosive sound that’s balanced with a warm embrace – much like a good South American coffee! Our tune this week comes from the brilliant Chapter One: Latin America album and – like all four of the Chapter albums – is highly recommended. For earlier Barbieri really on form with a top notch band (Lonnie Liston Smith, John Abercrombie, Stanley Clarke, Airto Moreira, Roy Haynes) try this cut from the excellent Under Fire album. For a taste of Barbieri in later A&M mode (with records produced by Herb Alpert) try this discofied over the top take on Ravel’s Bolero… You’ll either love or hate it! Fun fact: Barbieri was the inspiration for the Muppets character Zoot in the house band Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! Check out the characteristic fedora that features on many Barbieri album covers and is worn by the Muppet sax player Zoot.

Here on Cosmic Jazz, we continue to celebrate eighty years of wonderful music from the Blue Note Record label. In doing this we are trying to represent the variety of music that has been released on the label – and beside the US, Blue Note also made many visits to Brazil, releasing released three compilations of what they called Blue Brazil, with the sub-title of Blue Note in a Latin Groove, the third of which was released in 1980. Os Borges were a group from Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais Brazil.

A compilation series we have featured widely on the programme has been the Jazzman series Spiritual Jazz. Volume 8 went to Japan, from which you can hear Sadao Watanabe plying with Charlie Mariano, whose Ragam Sinthubairavi sounds as if they had been on a trip to India. Look out for Volume 10 which features artists from the Prestige label and includes the superb Dorian from the aforementioned Roy Haynes.

Another essential compilation for Cosmic Jazz lovers is Black Fire! New Spirits! with the sub – title Radical & Revolutionary Jazz in the USA 1957-82. It includes a wonderful piece from 1974 by saxophonist and composer Tyrone Washington. Once again, we find Hubert Eaves on piano. He recorded a solo album for Blue Note in 1967 and worked as a sideman with Horace Silver, Larry Young and Stanley Cowell, In 1973 and 1974 he released two more solo albums for small independent labels but soon after these he stopped playing music and turned to religion.

Finally we go In the Back, In the Corner, In the Dark from the album Back to You from tenor player Harold Land who features on another excellent Japanese Jazz compilation, J Jazz Volume 2: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-82. Harold Land is something of an enigma in jazz, staring with a hard bop tone but evolving into a much darker sound that (unlike some of his contemporaries) never went into fusion. Search out his Timeless label albums recorded with a stellar group including Cedar Walton on piano, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Buster Williams on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. To hear much of this band in an earlier incarnation, listen to the  beautiful title track from the Peace-Maker album on Cadet (1967).

  1. Eddie Palmieri – Palo Pa Rumba from Palo Pa Rumba
  2. Carlos Garnett – Caribbean Sun from Journey to Enlightenment
  3. Gato Barbieri – Encontros from Chapter One: Latin America
  4. Os Borges – Em Familia from Blue Brazil 3
  5. Sadao Watanabe and Charlie Mariano – Ragam Sinthubairavi from Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan
  6. Tyrone Washington – Universal Spiritual Revolt from Black Fire! New Sprits!
  7. Harold Land – In the Back, In the Corner, In The Dark from Back to You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *