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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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February 12, 2018 02:39 AM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Chet Baker - Star Eyes - The Touch of Your Lips
Jay Hoggard - West End Dancer - Days Like These
Harry Connick, Jr. - Stompin’ At The Savoy - “When Harry Met Sally…” soundtrack
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers - Night In Tunisia - A Night In Tunisia
Joan Armatrading - Spend A Little Time - Whatever’s For Us
Ted Curson - Searchin’ For The Blues - Flip Top
Gerry Niewood - Timeless - Gerry Niewood & Timepiece
Krystall Klear & the Buells featuring Cecil Taylor - P. O. - Ready for the 90’s
Steve Eliovson & Collin Walcott - Africa - Dawn Dance
Erroll Garner - Just One Of Those Things - Dreamstreet
Luis Gasca - Visions - Collage
The Manhattan Transfer - Another Night In Tunisia - Vocalese
featuring Bobby McFerrin & Jon Hendricks
Chuck Mangione - Bellavia - Bellavia
Keith Jarrett - Kuum - Back Hand
Sonny Greenwich - Day is Night to Some - Evol-ution, Love’s Reverse

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

A New Year begins.

It was a great, fun year with Jazz Gumbo. I got in 35 new shows last year and re-posted three old ones. A few new listeners have signed on, and it’s gratifying to see more and more downloads from all over the world - 46 countries. I love travelling, but I haven’t seen nearly as much of the world as I’d like to. I feel connected by the notion that this music is meaningful to people in so many places.

Wherever you are, I hope that there is peace and freedom in your personal world. As much as there is to be saddened by on this shared planet, I’m inspired by the humility and kindness I encounter everywhere, and I trust that Love will prevail over Fear. Toronto is a particularly blessed place in that it is made up of peoples of the entire world. There is much sharing of what life looks and feels like, from behind skin other than our own. And there’s potential for much more.


February 04, 2018 12:57 AM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Wes Montgomery - Snowfall - Wes’ Best/Wes Montgomery & His Brothers
Stevie Wonder - Jesus, Children of America - Innervisions
Lionel Hampton - How High The Moon - Big Bands Revisited
The Temptations - I Could Never Love Another After Loving You - Wish It Would Rain
Chick Corea - Sometime Ago–La Fiesta - Return To Forever
Dave Holland - The Watcher - Prism
George Duke - Watch Out Baby! - Reach For It
Billy Hart - Waiting Inside - Oshumare
Oscar Peterson - Land of the Misty Giants - Canadiana Suite
Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company - Summertime - Cheap Thrills
Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Jordu - Jordu
Ray Charles & Betty Carter - Baby, It’s Cold Outside - Essential Classics

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 Set features the classic from the first Return to Forever album, “Sometime Ago – La Fiesta”. It is one of the great recordings, and one I never tire of. Forgive me for playing from such a scratchy, overworn album, but I trust that music didn’t lose it’s power despite that. Stanley Clarke is the standout here, with that amazing double bass solo. The things he does with those long fingers!

This Set was recorded just before Christmas and features a couple of winter songs, with a couple of performances I want to mention. The Wes Montgomery album features the Montgomery brothers, with Monk on bass and Buddy on vibes and piano. And what a great vibes solo Buddy delivers on “Snowfall”! As great and original a stylist as Betty Carter became, in her duet here with Ray Charles, she’s pretty ordinary. But Ray makes up for it with a very soulful delivery.

Getting back to the vibes, Lionel Hampton with his big band orchestrates a rousing “How High the Moon” with great solos by the leader and by the dueling saxes. I wish I could tell you who they are.

It’s a great jazz Set, and the pieces by the pop acts: Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin and the Temptations are pretty damn good, too!


January 23, 2018 09:40 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Charles Mingus - Pithecanthropus Erectus - Pithecanthropus Erectus
Ralph Towner - Special Delivery - Old Friends, New Friends
GoGo Penguin - Protest - Man Made Object
Pharoah Sanders - The Golden Lamp - Wisdom Through Music
The Dells - Love Can Make It Easier - Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation
Cab Calloway - Jumpin’ Jive - “Stormy Weather” soundtrack
Leon Redbone - Ain’t Misbehavin’ - On The Track
Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife - The Bobby Darin Story
Charles Lloyd - Sombrero Sam - Dream Weaver
Chet Baker - Un Poco Loco - You Can’t Go Home Again
Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll - Tramp - Open
Joni Mitchell - Paprika Plains - Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter

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

After many years of being a Mingus fan, I recently got hold of his “Pithecanthropus” lp, and I’m excited to feature the great title track here. I’d never heard this music before. Though I started buying vinyl lps almost 50 years ago, I’m not a true collector. While I cherish my roughly 2,000 albums, and the artists they represent, I’ve never been methodical or obsessive about them. I don’t have the complete works of any artists, except perhaps the Uruguayan jazz fusion group Opa, who only ever issued two albums.

There are so many holes in my collection. I could easily produce a Greatest Albums list of classics that I don’t have. And it would feature all of my favorite artists, including, Coltrane, Miles, Sarah Vaughan, Corea, Hancock and Joni Mitchell. Sure, I’d love to have all those albums I don’t have. But I’m not rolling in money, and from the beginning, a huge percentage of my lps have come from second hand stores, where buying choices are very much constrained by opportunity. In recent years, many albums have come from yard sales, the odd few from thrift stores, and I’d estimate that a good 20% of my music came to me by way of friends and acquaintances giving me the collections that were growing mold in their basements.

A few albums were given new, as gifts, like my very first albums by Dianne Reeves, B. B. King and Bob Moses. I won my first Pat Martino album from a Boston area jazz station, by answering the question, “What was the original name of the Crusaders?” (answer: the Jazz Crusaders). I won one of my Stevie Wonder albums in an amusement park arcade. And let me not forget the early Miles, Trane and Dinah Washington albums I lifted from my parents’ collection when I went away to school.

Just last year, I bought 38 albums at $5. a pop from local radio station Jazz FM, after they converted all their music into digital files. And among them was the Heath Brothers’ “Passing Thru”, which I’d added to my wish list about 35 years ago and just never got around to buying. That was a time I might have bought the album at the concert where I heard the Heaths perform. I probably didn’t have the funds. But this week's featured Chet Baker album was bought at a similar concert, an all-night affair in a church – and no, Baker wasn’t there to perform.

Adding albums to my collection has very often been a matter of exploration or gut feeling. The very best is when I buy an album because it’s by a sideman from another album I like, or features tunes or instrumentation I like, or because the album art appeals. Then taking it home, playing it and discovering a gem. And let me not forget the great many discoveries that have come by way of hearing something played on the radio, in a friend’s home, on a film soundtrack, or by word of mouth.

Getting back to the Mingus album this essay started with: I think that Mingus is one of those artists that simply never issued a bad album. There’s always feeling in his work, which when coupled with artistry equals “can’t lose”. So I’m always on the lookout to add more of his work. And one of the great benefits of collecting music on vinyl as haphazardly as I do, is that there’s always more out there to find. Always another Mingus album still to discover, or an album by some phenom whose name I don’t even know.

Thrive & Enjoy!

January 16, 2018 07:52 AM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Buckshot Lefonque - Music Evolution - Music Evolution
Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Show Stopper - Show Stopper
The Manhattan Transfer - Shaker Song - Extensions
Horace Silver - New York Lament - Silver ‘N Voices
Airto Moreira - Parana - Fingers
Louis Armstrong - What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue - Giants of Jazz Series
Bobby McFerrin - Good Lovin’ - Simple Pleasures
McCoy Tyner - For Tomorrow - Inner Voices
Fats Waller - You’re Not the Only Oyster in the Stew - Giants of Jazz Series
Urszula Dudziak - Crazy Kid - Fusion III (M.Urbaniak)
Urszula Dudziak - Prehistoric Bird - Fusion III (M.Urbaniak)
Ella Fitzgerald - Mack the Knife - Essential Ella
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - The Return of the 5,000 lb. Man
Sekoya - Heavenly City - Sekoya
Dexter Gordon & Eddie Jefferson - It’s Only A Paper Moon - Great Encounters
Flora Purim - Summer Night - Butterfly Dreams
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - Lush Life - John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
K’naan - Hoobaale - The Dusty Foot Philosopher
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Everyday - Sing A Song Of Basie
Sarah Vaughan - Lullaby Of Birdland - Sarah Vaughan’s Golden Hits
Sweet Honey In The Rock - Wade In The Water - Live at Carnegie Hall

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is "Music Evolution" by Branford Marsalis and his group Buckshot LeFonque.

For playlists of all past Sets go to jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

This Set was posted in recognition of the fact that probably 80% of the music featured on Jazz Gumbo is instrumental. And while doing it, I was surprised at how many great vocalists and uses of vocals that I didn't even get to.

Every piece in this Set contains a vocal element. There are a few straight ahead numbers with a single vocalist fronting a group in a traditional style. Other numbers make use of vocalese (the art of adding words to previously instrumental compositions and using voices in place of the melodic instruments), scat (wordless vocal improvisation) or some other innovative technique. And some numbers feature a cappella or choral, or interesting background singing.

My hosting here is pretty sad from an informational point of view. I introduce the Manhattan Transfer with a statement of how they re-popularized vocalese, then play a selection that isn't vocalese at all. Then I discuss how Satchmo invented scat singing, and play a cut on which he doesn't scat. But hey, all the music is brilliant!

Enjoy and Thrive!

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

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