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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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January 11, 2018 09:05 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Marcus Miller - What Is Hip? - Marcus
John McLaughlin & Chick Corea - New Blues, Old Bruise - Five Peace Band Live
Jimi Hendrix - Bold As Love - Axis: Bold As Love
Ramsey Lewis - Bold and Black - Another Voyage
Peter Erskine - Sprite - Dr. Um
Eddie Palmieri - Sabiduria - Sabiduria
Kevin Eubanks - The Messenger - The Messenger
John Coltrane - Greensleeves - Africa / Brass
Eric Burden & War - Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon Declares War
Steps Ahead - Vibe - Vibe

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

You’ll find a complete record of all past Sets at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

This is a Set full of really great fusion. Everything here is fusion in some sense: if not in the sense of classic ‘70’s jazz-rock fusion, then a blend of other musical styles and traditions. Even the Coltrane, even the Hendrix. But what’s the point in making the case? It’s a high energy Set of great music, from a bunch of Masters.

I have a special appreciation for the pieces that are relatively new to me, personally: Peter Erskine, once with Weather Report, has a great thing going with his “Dr. Um”, which I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t recognize as “Drum” for some time. Eddie Palmieri, at 80 continues to innovate with Nuyorican rhythms and melodies. I was a big follower of early 80’s Steps Ahead, and totally missed their excellent ’94 album. (Guess I make up for that one by mistakenly featuring this tune two shows in a row. Oops!) And most of all, I was thrilled to discover the great collaboration of all-time favorites Corea, McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett and others with 2009’s Five Peace Band. Apparently, their album won a Grammy the following year, so I must have been living under a rock.

Anyway, I hope you will all enjoy this brief but tight Set as much as I did.


January 06, 2018 11:27 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Steps Ahead - Vibe - Vibe
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Caravan - L,H & R Sing Ellington
Robert Glasper - J Dillalude - In My Element
Dewey Redman - Turn Over Baby - The Struggle Continues
Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs - Blue Note Re-Issue Series
Taj Mahal - Texas Woman Blues - Recycling the Blues & Other Related Stuff
Etienne Charles - Rose - Kaiso
Milton Nascimento - Clube Da Esquina, No 2 - Clube Da Esquina
Coleman Hawkins - Jamaica Shout - Giants of Jazz
Fatboy Slim - Praise You - You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
Jaco Pastorius - Liberty City - Word of Mouth
Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man - Every Great Motown Hit
Jack DeJohnette - John McKee - Parallel Realities
Michel Camilo - Spirit of the Moment - Spirit of the Moment

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

The Etienne Charles piece is soft; The Dewey Redman is rough. Fatboy Slim is raucous and bouncy; Jaco Pastorius is celebratory, and Chick Corea is solemn and searching. Taj is playful; Marvin, soulful; Lambert, Hendriks & Ross are inventive. I love the range of this music. It gives expression to every facet of being human. It offers gateways into our every experience. It brings us together.

I love looking at the Podomatic stats map and seeing that those of you listening in are in all corners of the world. I appreciate that the experiencing of these sonic vibrations is something we all share. I have no knowledge of where you all are politically, and I hesitate to stray into that domain. It happens though that while I live in Canada, I’m also a citizen (and voter) of the United States. And it pains me that we currently have an elected leader who has understanding and regard for so little that’s outside of his sadly narrow view. These days, the world desperately needs leaders with vision and values beyond vanity and self-interest.

Let us hope that Music, all the Arts, and every expression of Creativity can continue to bring us together, and to plant seeds of understanding that we are more alike than different, and that we do better to Love than to Fear one another.

Blessings to Us All!

December 24, 2017 11:32 AM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Norman Connors - Mother Of The Future - Slewfoot
Michael Kaeshammer - Stomp - The Pianist
Jamie Cullum - Music Is Through - The Pursuit
Coleman Hawkins - Georgia Jubilee - Giants of Jazz
Booker T. & The M.G.’s - Hip Hug-Her
Hip Hug-Her
Chaka Khan - To Sir With Love - Classikhan
Charlie Parker - All Of Me - "Bird" soundtrack
Jowee Omicil - Let’s Just Bash! - Let’s Bash!
Ibrahim Maalouf - Unfaithful - Illusions
Jill Scott - How It Make You Feel - The Real Thing
Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring - You Must Believe In Spring
Lonnie Smith - Think! - Think!
Courtney Pine featuring Omar - Rules - Black Notes From The Deep
Steely Dan - Black Cow - Aja
Diana Krall - L-O-V-E - Turn Up The Quiet
BadBadNotGood - Kaleidescope - III
Charlie Haden - One Day At A Time - Helium Tears
Jazzmeia Horn - Lift Every Voice and Sing / Moanin’ - A Social Call

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

A great mix of old and new here, of Old Masters and new discoveries (for me, anyway). It’s an appropriate mix for this time of year (though streamed in late October, as I write it’s Christmas Eve. We’ve just passed Solstice and the days are beginning to lengthen again as we embark on another circuit around the Sun)!

Jazzmeia Horn is one of the newbies. She has a voice and style that instantly captivated me, and she does such a great job with standards. The opening number from Connors highlights his beautiful drumming. It’s a full-forward number I’ve enjoyed for decades and never tire of. And yes, everything between these opening and closing numbers is brilliant! I think I said about last week’s show that I was very happy with the mix. I like this one even more! Am I getting better at this? - )

Love to all of you as we head for another ‘beginning’ in this constant progression through Life. Thank you for sharing these sounds with me!


December 20, 2017 04:36 AM PST

Artists - Tune - Album
Steve Lacey - The Bath - Momentum
Trombone Shorty - Unc - For True
Zutty Singleton - Moppin’ & Boppin' - Stormy Weather soundtrack
Stevie Wonder - Send One Your Love - Inside the Secret Life of Plants
Charlie Haden & The Liberation Music Orchestra - Silent Spring - Time / Life
Brownman Ali - Yesteryear - Juggernaut
Abbey Lincoln - Whistling In The Dark - Talking To The Sun
John McLaughlin - Do You Hear the Voices That You Left Behind - Electric Guitarist
Anthony Braxton - Toy - Seven Standards 1985, Volume 1
Jay Clayton - I Told You So - Brooklyn 2000
Joe Jackson - Loisaida - Body and Soul
Throttle Elevator Music - Violet Revolutionary - Throttle Elevator Music
Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli - My Heart Stood Still - Quartet, vol. 2
Samantha Martin - Give Me Your Mercy - Send The Nightingale

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

Oh, I love this Set!
Why didn’t I get it out to you earlier, so you could’ve been enjoying it?

I’ve become a bit obsessive about the Podcast. There is so much imperfect about it, and sometimes, my inability to produce good sound quality frustrates me. I should know more about the studio equipment, and adjusting levels and such. I wasn’t caught up in all that when I started his show. I just wanted to share some great music. And generally, the quality is fine for me. I’m no audiophile and it’s the spirit in the music much more than the technical reproduction that moves me to want to play and podcast it. I vicariously enjoy you hearing it, for the first time or from knowing it intimately. There’s a lot of joy in anticipating another’s enjoyment.

I can’t think of a thing I want to say about the music except that it’s all so great. This Set flows better than most, and when the tunes flow together, they are each better than they could be otherwise.

Enjoy Listening. I hope you find the love in it.


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

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