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Bebop Spoken There

Whitney Shay: 'A few years back, I did a gig at an Asian grocery store next to the frozen food section. It was the opening of their bakery. It was a jazz gig and I sang jazz standards next to the frozen fish!'' - (Blues Matters! June/July 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, May 31, 2013

CD Review: Spiritual Jazz Vol 4 - Americans in Europe.

Although the blurb below is a press release from Jazzmen Records I endorse some of it and would elaborate more if the booklet had been written in braille as opposed to the miniscule font size. Having said that, I understand it is also available as a triple LP where, presumably the sleeve notes are more suitable for us 20-20 visioners!. The music, however, is, in the main, interesting. And the avant garde I abhorred back then is nearer accessibility. Who would imagine that I would derive pleasure from Albert Ayler's tortured version of my most unfavourite tune Summertime (familiarity breeds contempt)? and yet it is possibly the only Ayler record I've got something out of! Jazz is a strange world never ceasing to throw you a curve...
Lance.
Having taken a look at the underground American scene, and then an in-depth look at the European scene, the fourth installment in Jazzman Records' Spiritual Jazz series takes a look at recordings made by American artists in Europe. This 21-track double CD (or triple LP) collection features some big names, though these particular recordings come from hard to find albums that have mostly never been reissued
Studie Nr1 fur 12-saitige Gitarre from Swiss guitarist Pierre Cavalli with Sahib Shihab guesting on flute kicks off proceedings. A trippy blues number, it's Shihab's flute playing that really makes this tune stand out. This mix of American and European musicians as well as a mix of styles characterises a lot of the music on this collection.
Jazz Rule sees pianist Hampton Hawes teaming up with British saxophonist Johnny Hawksworth – not to be confused with the bassist of the same name - on what is a very catchy swinging tune, and as good as this is, it's only part of the warm-up to what is on the whole an amazing collection. 
Drummer Clarence Peters leads an amazing quartet on Born & Shake, previously only available on privately pressed album released in France. From there it's on to The Call, a spiritual number in jazz waltz time from Sahib Shihab, Sun Ra's quirky but infectious Enlightment and Albert Ayler's stunning version of Summertime.
The spirit of John Coltrane infuses many of the tracks included on this set, and Billy Gault's magical Mode For Trane directly cites his influence. 
Other standout tunes include the classic Five, Four And Three by Lee Konitz and Ol by the Noah Howard Group, as well as the two epic 18-minute plus tracks that complete the collection ~ The Creators from the Bobby Hutcherson & Harold Land Sextet, and Springtime from Eric Dolphy.
The first three volumes in this series have all been outstanding compilations, but it could just be that Spiritual Jazz 4: Americans In Europe* is the best of the lot. Essential listening. (Listen here.)
Released in March 2013 on Jazzmen Records.


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