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Jazz Gumbo
A Fusion of Flavors for the Ear!
Category: Jazz
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by Kirby Obsidian
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December 13, 2017 09:46 PM PST

Artists - Tune - Album
Miles Davis - Jean-Pierre - We Want Miles
Al Jarreau - Distracted - This Time
Sonny Rollins - The House I Live In - Saxophone Colossus and More
Carmen McRae - Medley: Long Before I Knew You/Just in Time - Carmen McRae
Jowee Omicil - Ballad For Roy Hargrove - Let’s Bash!
Milton Nascimento - Maria, Maria - Journey to Dawn
Wayne Shorter - Yamanja - Phantom Navigator
Nguyên Lê - Jorai - Walking on the Tiger’s Tail
Pat Metheny - Tell It All - First Circle
Donald Byrd - Free Form - Free Form
GoGo Penguin - Weird Cat - Man Made Object
Louie Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald - You Can’t Take That Away From Me - Ella and Louis

The song that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

I apologize for the long delay since last posting. I have several more episodes that have aired that I have yet to edit and post. Please continue to be patient.

How about the vocal numbers by Jarreau and the duo of Fitzgerald and Armstrong! Great voices and exhuberant artistry!

The album art for this Set, by Reid Miles, adorns Donald Byrd's "Free Form". The 1966 album presents a variety of forms, and the title track delves into the 'free' jazz being explored by many of the music's pioneers. Art and Music go together well.

Jowee Omicil and GoGo Penguin are among my favorite current artists, bringing new flavors and accents into the music. Please always feel free to recommend favorites of yours, to share with other listeners. It will be appreciated!

Kirby Obsidian

November 12, 2017 10:21 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
George Duke - Diamonds - Reach For It
Joanne Brackeen - Off Glimpse - Keyed In
Curtis Mayfield - The Makings of You - Curtis
Cinematic Orchestra - Burnout - Every Day
Roland Kirk - Search For The Reason Why - Volunteered Slavery
Eddie Palmieri - Mi Congo Te Llama: Prayer & Theme to Ozain - Lucumi Macumba Voodoo
Weather Report - Rumba Mama - Heavy Weather
Weather Report - Palladium - Heavy Weather
Bill Withers - Use Me - Still Bill
Woody Shaw - The Moontrane - Montreux Summit
Brownman - Chocalet Citeh - Gravitation
Wes Montgomery - Beaux Arts - Wes’s Best: Wes Montgomery and his Brothers
Linda Lewis - Joanna - Fathoms Deep
Roland Kirk - Spirits Up Above - Volunteered Slavery

The song that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

I hope you enjoy the Set.
Kirby Obsidian

November 05, 2017 03:10 PM PST

Artists - Tune - Album
John Abercrombie, Jack DeJohnette & Dave Holland - Back Woods Song - Gateway
Muddy Waters - Rollin’ Stone - The Best of Chess Blues
John Coltrane - Mr. Knight - Coltrane Plays The Blues
Chuck Mangione - If You Know Me Any Longer Than Tomorrow - Main Squeeze
Aretha Franklin - Mary, Don’t You Weep - Amazing Grace
Roland Hanna - I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good - Perugia
Lionel Hampton - How High The Moon - Big Bands Revisited
Sonny Fortune - Bacchanal - Serengeti Minstrel
Kool & The Gang - North, East, South, West - Kool Jazz
Helcio Milito - Kilombo (Tambor Que Geme) - Kilombo
Betty Carter - Happy - The Betty Carter Album
Betty Carter - Tight - The Betty Carter Album
Mal Waldron - Blues in 4 by 3 - One Entrance, Many Exits

The song that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Just think of all the rich links generated by Muddy Waters with his song “Rollin’ Stone”. The 1950 classic is derived from the old saying about a “rolling stone gathering no moss”, but it’s the legacy from that point that is so broad and culturally alive. In 1962, when Brian Jones, in advance of his first recording session with collaborators Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart and Dick Taylor, was devising a name, for a group committed to celebrating Chicago blues, he thought of the Muddy Waters recording, and they became the Rolling Stones.

Then, in ’67, Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason started up a culture magazine and named it with the same recording in mind, also citing The Stones and Bob Dylan’s ’65 hit, “Like a Rolling Stone”.

Apparently, the original folk proverb, which dates back at least as far as the 1500’s, was a critique of rootlessness. But the gathering of moss later came to be equated with stagnancy, so the expression became a call for movement and change, much better representing the musical legacy.

This was one of those weeks when I had several great choices for the feature album cover. I finally decided to go with Chuck Mangione, because he’s contributed just so many great moments to Jazz Gumbo over the years, including this very beautiful one.

Kirby Obsidian

October 17, 2017 10:53 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Jaco Pastorius - Chromatic Fantasy/Blackbird - Word of Mouth
Eddie Harris - Don’t You Know Your Future’s In Space - Come On Down!
Ray Charles & Cleo Laine - Bess, You Is My Woman Now - Porgy & Bess
John T. Davis - Last of the Blues - Last of the Blues
Pat Metheny - Have You Heard - Letter From Home
Aretha Franklin - Call Me - Aretha’s Greatest Hits
Joe Bonner - Celebration - Angel Eyes
Jimmy Smith - The Sermon - The Sermon
Wayne Shorter - Endangered Species - Atlantis
Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio - Black Radio
Billy Cobham - Lunarputians - Total Eclipse
Dianne Reeves - Afro Blue - I Remember
Tower of Power - What is Hip? - Tower of Power
Billy Cobham - To the Women in My Life / Le Lis - Spectrum
Tony Williams - Geo Rose - Civilization
Vital Information - Lorenzo’s Soul - Ray of Hope
Buckshot Lefonque - Weary with Toil - Music Evolution

The great piece used to open each Set of Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot Lefonque.

This was my tenth Set ever, and before I did any editing of the Sets. I’m amazed that there are so few technical glitches and patches of dead air. You’d be amazed at how much of that I edit out of most Sets these days. I guess this means that I’ve regressed on the technical end. Oh well!

Re-listening to this Set reminds me of how excited I was each week to play so many favorites I’d never shared before, that I guessed many listeners would be hearing for the first time.

Have you heard Jimmy Smith’s “The Sermon”? That’s one that takes me back to my childhood, soaking in the music my parents brought into the house. It’s a piece that really speaks to the era, in urban Black America. I think you’ll soak it in too.

How about Ray Charles and Cleo Laine? What amazing, soulful singing! Cleo, who comes from a totally different musical tradition than Charles, really keeps up on this one.

Give it to John T. for his gorgeous melody. He’s an artist originally from the US who we get to hear around Toronto now and then.

Another new Set will be posted in just a few days.


October 10, 2017 10:33 PM PDT

Artists - Tune - Album
McCoy Tyner - Departure - Focal Point
Stephane Grappelli & Gary Burton - Daphne - Paris Encounter
Tower Of Power - You Got To Funkifize - Bump City
Oscar Peterson - Reunion Blues - The Peterson Big 6 at Montreux 1975
Herbie Hancock - Steppin’ In It - Man-Child
Fats Waller - Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Giants of Jazz
Sarah Vaughan - In A Sentimental Mood - After Hours
Art Tatum - Stardust - The Tatum Solo Masterpieces, vol. 4
Return to Forever - Where Have I Known You Before - Where Have I Known You Before
Return to Forever - Song to the Pharoah Kings - Where Have I Known You Before
Sweet Honey in the Rock - Dream Variations - Sweet Honey In The Rock

The song that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Without intending to, this became an all-vinyl Set, so that it’s all pretty old music, in fact it’s all music from 1976 and earlier. But that doesn’t keep this Set from covering a pretty fair range, from as traditional as you can get, with Grappelli, Tatum and Vaughan, to high powered funk – Tower of Power, and shape-shifting fusion – Return to Forever, and a slice of socio-political gospel for the finish.

The, there’s the interesting juxtaposition of Herbie Hancock’s “Steppin’ In It” and Oscar Peterson’s “Reunion Blues”. They are both upbeat, rousing numbers. I refer to them during the Set as ‘party jams’. They are both led by pianists with excellent supporting casts, including harmonicas, wielded by Toots Thielemans in Peterson’s ensemble, and by Stevie Wonder in Hancock’s.

Yet, their styles are so different. They emerge from different eras, different landscapes. Try imagining the 1950’s jazz club you might’ve heard an ensemble like Peterson’s: a tight little spot on a neon lit street, all in brown and gray, with clinking glasses and smoke in the air. Then transport yourself to the 70’s, to a club all glistening with flashing light and color, the embroidered bell-bottoms and thin rolled joints. And yet, they were both recorded in 1975!

… And Yes, I admit I’d like more follows. So I’m repeating the invitation: sign on and I’ll make available files of my older sets, which you’ll find at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca . And, of course you’ll be notified of each new Set as I post it.

Thanks as always for lending your ears. And nice hearing from you!

Kirby Obsidian

October 06, 2017 02:49 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
The Jazztet featuring
Art Farmer & Benny Golson - Farmer’s Market - The Jazztet at Birdhouse
La’Porsha Renae - Breathe - Already All Ready
Bob James - Farandole - Two
Toshiko Akiyoshi - Pagliacci - Interlude
Molly Johnson - Summertime - Live – Montreal 2008
Horace Silver - Calcutta Cutie - Song For My Father
Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate - Catfish Blues - Kulanjan
Cassandra Wilson - Blue In Green - Point Of View
Miles Davis - Blues For Pablo - Miles Ahead
Eddie Harris - Really - Come On Down!
Eddie Jefferson - Parker’s Mood - Golden Essentials
Sarah Vaughan - Stardust - No Count Sarah

The song used very appreciatively as the Theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

In my humble opinion, Sarah Vaughan has one of the greatest voices of all time! And La’Porsha Renae has one of the great voices of this time. In both cases, it isn’t just the voice itself, but what they do with it. Molly Johnson and Cassandra Wilson ain’t no slouches neither! And where voices are concerned, let’s not forget Eddie Jefferson. The members of Manhattan Transfer, in liner notes to one of their albums, call him the greatest jazz singer of all time. I don’t disagree. He was the absolute best at singing his way. There’s no one quite like him. The same can be said of Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Bobby McFerrin, Aretha, Al Green…and on and on. They were/are each the greatest at doing their thing.

So, what’s the point of superlatives, of G.O.A.T. labels? (greatest of all time). Maybe there isn’t one. I don’t think that jazz has ever been about climbing a mountain, about ascending over rivals. If anything, it’s more about carving out a little hill – or valley – that’s unlike any other, that gives a fresh perspective.

I once had an English teacher who liked to say that every word you learned gave you the ability to think a new thought. And there’s something to that. Every new jazz artist – or every creative musician, period – gives you a new way to hear music. Which is one of the reasons that standard tunes are such a staple in jazz. They provide context and contrast. “Summertime”, “Blue in Green” and “Stardust” are as standard as standard can be. You‘ve heard them all before. But you’ve never heard any of them quite like this before. Molly Johnson, Cassandra Wilson and Sassy Sarah make them fresh and sparkly new.

Long live Jazz! Long live Creative Expression!

An Appreciation Bonus to Followers of this Jazz Gumbo:

If any of you are ever interested in listening to earlier Sets of Jazz Gumbo that are no longer available for streaming or download from Podomatic, I will be glad to send them to you via an internet file-sharing service. I’d like to limit this to 3 Sets at a time, for now anyway.

You will find a complete playlist of all Jazz Gumbo Sets at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca
You can request the Sets you want by sending me an email to kobsidian@hotmail.com or by leaving a comment on this site.

I’ll warn you that very early Sets were unedited, and were posted exactly as they streamed originally from Radio Regent. And since learning the technology of online broadcasting has been an on-going learning experience for me, you will experience a few more glitches. In other words, an even purer experience. winking (Which reminds me, I’ve decided to finally invest in some record-cleaning technology. I’ve been watching youTube videos about them, and them seem to do wonders with old vinyl. Any recommendations out there?)

Kirby Obsidian

September 30, 2017 10:54 PM PDT

Artists - Tune - Album
Roberta Flack - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Quiet Fire
Stephane Grappelli & Gary Burton - Blue In Green - Paris Encounter
Charlie Haden & Quartet West - Bay City - Quartet West
Diana Krall - Body & Soul - Steppin’ Out
e.s.t. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) - Tide of Trepidation - Viaticum - Live in Berlin
Billy Cobham - Balancing Act - The Traveller
Chick Corea’s Akoustic Band - Sophisticated Lady - Akoustic Band
Jazzmeia Horn - Afro Blue / I See You /
Wade in the Water - A Social Call
Pat Martino - Masquerada - Starbright
Keith Jarrett - In Front - Facing You
Vital Information - Sixth Sense - Ray Of Hope

The song used very appreciatively as the Theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

You will find a complete playlist of all Jazz Gumbo Sets at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

I recorded this Set fresh from seeing the stage production “Beautiful: the Carol King Story”, and full up of the magic of the wonderful songs written by the teenage song-writer. The opener is one of King’s compositions, as I first heard and fell in love with it.

There are a number of other great covers of frequently interpreted classics in this Set: “Blue in Green”, “Body & Soul”, “Sophisticated Lady” and “Afro Blue” have each been performed countless times. It’s one of the things I love about jazz, that great songs are constantly re-invented, given fresh expression, often bringing to them elements I imagine the original composers never themselves imagined.

I guess we might say that the essence of creativity is that it’s self-perpetuating. Every creative act gives rise to others, sometimes opens the way for others. Isn’t it fascinating that Thomas Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors, had no idea that his phonograph would lead to the recorded music industry. Apparently, he thought he’d invented a handy gadget for keeping business records.

Kirby Obsidian

August 23, 2017 01:11 AM PDT

Artists - Tune - Album
Bobby McFerrin - Good Lovin’ - Simple Pleasures
Pat Metheny - 80/81 - 80/81
Woody Shaw - Seventh Avenue - Stepping Stones
Shirley Horn - My Funny Valentine - I Remember Miles
Charlie Haden & The Liberation Music Orchestra - Silent Spring - Time/Life
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Miles Beyond - Birds of Fire
Eddie Gomez - Amethyst - Power Play
Stanley Clarke - Hello Jeff - Journey To Love
Louis Armstrong - Heebie Jeebies - The Louis Armstrong Story, vol. 1
Santana - Jingo - Santana
Stephane Grappelli - Lover Man - Satin Doll
Jean-Luc Ponty - Aurora – Part II - Jean-Luc Ponty: Live
Amina Claudine Myers - Louisville - The Circle Of Time
George Benson - Cast Your Fate to the Winds - The George Benson Collection
Kevin Eubanks - The Gloaming - The Messenger

The song used very appreciatively as the Theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

You will find a complete playlist of all Jazz Gumbo Sets at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

We have lots of strings leading the way throughout this set: guitars, violins, basses. It wasn’t by design, but the contrasts of styles, as well as the flow of rhythm and melody felt right. Listen for those strings. Lots of masters represented here.

I must say that one of the standouts is Stephane Grappelli. That’s in part because his classical style is so different than most of the other offerings. But his virtuosity always catches my attention. What beautiful lyricism!

Not much in the mood for words, so I’ll just let you get to the music.

Kirby Obsidian

August 03, 2017 09:40 PM PDT

Artists - Tune - Album
Arthur Blythe - Down San Diego Way - Lennox Avenue Breakdown
Vital Information - Mr. T.C. - Live From Mars
Pharoah Sanders - Think About The One - Journey To The One
Erykah Badu - What’s Yo Phone Number /Telephone - But You Caint Use My Phone
Medeski, Martin & Wood - House Mop - Friday Afternoon in the Universe
John Surman - On The Wing Again - Such Winters of Memory
Laurie Anderson - O Superman - Big Science
Joe Bonner - Celebration - Angel Eyes
Pocketwatch - Intimacy - It’s About Time
Joshua Redman - Soul Dance - Wish
David Murray - Djolla Feeling - Gwotet
Andy Narrell - Another Drum For Oskar - Slow Motion
Ibrahim Maalouf - Illusions - Illusions
Ibrahim Maalouf - Conspiracy Generation - Illusions
Taj Mahal - Johnny Too Bad - The Best Of Taj Mahal

The amazing tune that opens Jazz Gumbo week after week is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

You will find a complete playlist of all Jazz Gumbo Sets at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Please give a good listen to Joe Bonner’s “Celebration”.
This set is full of the human voice, and Linda Sharrock’s is one of them, dancing in among the wood and ivory, brass and skins and gut. It’s a tune I know will lose listeners in its middle, where it gets sharp and raucous, but if you allow your ears to bend with the sounds, they won’t be offended. It’s a beautifully moving piece.

I also love my friend Gerry Bryant’s song “Intimacy”. Great to hear him with such a strong piece of music, and a strong group of musicians.

And you know, otherwise, I spoke enough about the music though the Set. And I think it contains some interesting contrasts. I hope you will all enjoy!


July 29, 2017 11:27 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Buckshot Lefonque - Music Evolution - Music Evolution
John Coltrane - Lush Life - Lush Life
Esperanza Spalding - Can’t Help It - Radio Music Society
Roberta Flack - Gone Away - Chapter Two
Pat Metheny - 5-5-7 - Letter From Home
Joanne Brackeen - C-SRI - Snooze
Billy Cobham - To The Women in My Life - Spectrum
Billy Cobham - Le Lis - Spectrum
Pharoah Sanders - Farah - Rejoice
Billie Holiday - Yesterdays - Giants of Jazz – Billie Holiday
Wes Montgomery - Four On Six - Willow Weep For Me
Freddie Hubbard - Sweet Return - Sweet Return
Roberto Fonseca - Yeyeo - Temperamento
Norman Connors - Dreams - Slewfoot
Aretha Franklin - Wholy Holy - Amazing Grace
Sekoya - Bill - Dalawa
George Benson - Moody’s Mood - The George Benson Collection

While I continue to work on editing the latest Set, I thought it would be good to re-post a really fine old one. I played Roberta Flack's "Gone Away" just a few weeks ago, but otherwise I haven't played any of these tunes in a long time. And I believe I combined them quite well back then.

Enjoy! And I'll have the 17 July 2017 Set up soon.


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