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Jazz Gumbo
A Fusion of Flavors for the Ear!
Category: Jazz
Location:
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by Kirby Obsidian
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May 11, 2017 11:19 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Freddie Hubbard - Super Blue - Super Blue
St Germain - Sittin’ Here - St Germain
Mal Waldron featuring Eric Dolphy - Status Seeking - The Quest
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - So Danco Samba - Getz / Gilberto
Adam Makowicz - Summer In Central Park - Moonray
Ella Fitzgerald - Stairway To The Stars - The Best of Ella Fitzgerald
Dianne Reeves - Softly As In A Morning Sunrise - I Remember
Steve Khan - The Big Ones - Tightrope
Defunkt - Change - Defunkt in America
Chick Corea - Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal - No Mystery
Griot Galaxy - Zykron - Kins
Dewey Redman - Meditation, Submission, Purification - Coincide
Ornette Coleman - Lonely Woman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
Horace Silver - The Sophisticated Hippie - Silver ‘n Brass
Abdullah Ibrahim - Duke 88 - African River
Elizabeth Shepherd - High - Heavy Falls the Night

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists of all previous Sets of Jazz Gumbo can be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Ella Fitzgerald would have had her one hundredth birthday in late April, but she missed that landmark by a few years, having died at age 89. Her road to becoming the First Lady of Jazz began when, at age seventeen, an orphaned, struggling drop-out, she won the Amateur Night contest in front of the mercilessly judgmental crowd at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.

What I have always loved most about Ella’s voice is its brightness and clarity. It rings like a bell. “Stairway” doesn’t show off one of her other distinguishing characteristics – her scat singing. I’ll present a great example of that next week.

Adam Makowicz is a musician I’ve had the privilege of hearing up close and personal. He performed a spontaneous tribute to his wife Joanna, at a small gathering in Toronto’s Polish consulate one evening. What the man does with 88 keys is amazing. I believe he rivals the Tatums and the Petersons for dexterity and brilliance.

Tonight’s is a great Set. I hope you’ll take it all in and enjoy it.

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

May 03, 2017 10:32 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
BadBadNotGood - Triangle - III
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock - The Song Is You - Still Live
& Jack DeJohnette
The Paris Combo - Fibre de Verre - French Café
Michal Urbaniak - Roksana - Fusion III
Fela Kuti - Zombie - Zombie
The Meters - Message From The Meters - Saturday Night Fish Fry
Steely Dan - Bodhisattva - Countdown To Ecstasy
George Duke - Cravo e Canela - A Brazilian Love Affair
Nguyên Lê - Wingless Flight - Walking On The Tiger’s Tail
Chick Corea - Quartet No 3 - Three Quartets
Chaka Khan - Round Midnight - Classikhan
Horace Silver - Song For My Father - Song For My Father
Charles Tolliver - Paper Man - Paper Man
Gil Scott-Heron - Message To The Messengers - Spirits

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists of all 120 previous Sets of Jazz Gumbo can be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Ah, Yes! I feel I’m back in the groove with this Set!

The works that are newest to me in this Set are the offerings by BadBadNotGood and Nguyên Lê, and I LOVE both of their albums. Both of these artists create unique sounds with great dynamism.

There are two offerings that have strong socio-political messages. Gil Scott-Heron’s “Message”, from ’94 is aimed at a generation of rappers notorious for its misogyny and glorification of macho violence. He counsels rappers to know their history and to resist being tools of fear and destruction in their communities.

And Fela Kuti’s “Zombie” from ’76 was a condemnation of the oppressive military government in his native Nigeria. This song was an immediate sensation and a provocation. In response the military attacked and burned the community he founded, beat him severely and threw his mother from an upper window, fatally injuring her.

It's interesting that though the situation in Nigeria was specific and local, Fela's music was a powerful, galvanizing force world-wide. His music, and the brilliant social criticism of Gil Scott-Heron, lives on.

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

April 28, 2017 11:06 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Derrick Gardner - Bugabug - A Ride To The Other Side
Billy Cobham - What Is Your Fantasy - B. C.
Tomasz Stanko - Babylon Samba - Chameleon
Eddie Jefferson - Body & Soul - Golden Essentials
Gregory Porter - Real Good Hands - Be Good
Jay Clayton - Three Free / Random Mondays - Brooklyn 2000
John McLaughlin - Every Tear From Every Eye - Electric Guitarist
Linda Lewis - Spring Song - Lark
Miles Davis - Little Church - Live-Evil
Ernest Ranglin - 54-46 Was My Number - Below The Bassline
Big Mama Thornton - Rolling Stone - Sassy Mama!
Irakere - La Comparsa - Chekeré Son
Quincy Jones - Prologue (Q’s Rap) &
Back On The Block - Back On The Block

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists of all 120 previous Sets of Jazz Gumbo can be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

To be honest, I’m not all that happy with this Set. It’s partly the selections and partly the way I’ve put them together. And I have only myself to fault.

Jazz Gumbo started out as a way of sharing my favorite music with anyone who would have it. Over time, it’s become more of a project of exploration, as I’ve sought to go beyond music I already know and love, to discover new artists and new sounds.

Great music often takes awhile to seep in, to open up new channels of listening so that it can be heard. Much of my favorite music took some time to become my favorite music. And I was too hurried with this set, and I included too many pieces I haven’t lived with long enough to know if I will love them. I don’t really know how this Set sounds to me, let alone to you. Not that it won’t always be changing, because it will.

Anyway, we’ll learn together whether this Set is worthy, whether it works. It will take time.

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

April 24, 2017 05:45 AM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Esbjorn Svennson - Seven Days Of Falling - Seven Days Of Falling
Donny Hathaway - Someday We’ll All Be Free - Extension Of A Man
Cannonball Adderley - Unit 7 - Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley
Bob James - Valley Of The Shadows - One
Samuel Yirga - I am The Black Gold of The Sun - Guzo
Cleo Laine - Gimme A Pig Foot & A Bottle Of Beer - Live!!! At Carnegie Hall
Art Blakey - Now’s The Time - A Night At Birdland
Joan Armatrading - Persona Grata - Secret Secrets
Kendrick Lamar - untitled 06 - untitled unmastered
Herbie Hancock - Butterfly - Thrust
Michael White - Spirit Dance - Spirit Dance
Charles Lloyd - Love Ship - Dreamweaver
Valerie June - The Front Door - The Order Of Time
Tony Williams - Dreamland - Angel Street
Taj Mahal - Why?...And We Repeat Why?...And We Repeat - Music Keeps Me Together

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Information about previous Sets will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

I'm LOVIN' that Hair! Lovin' the music too. Courtesy of Valerie June, one of the new voices contributing to Jazz Gumbo this week. Not Jazz, but definitely worthy of inclusion in the stew, for the bluesy, folksy soul she brings.

It's interesting to me how musical categories morph over time. How to categorize what Valerie June is doing? Or Esbjorn Svennson? Or Michael White? Or Kendrick Lamar?

What is Jazz, anyway? Not the same as it used to be. What's Pop? What in the world is Adult Contemporary? I don't know - don't really care. Not really important. I think the usefulness of the labels is in helping you to find what you want to hear, and maybe in carrying you from that sound to another that you may not yet know that you want to hear. Exploration by association, you could call it. Like picking up some Pharoah Sanders because I heard him backing up Coltrane, then getting something by Norman Connors or Joe Bonner because they played with Pharoah, and then....

Music is a wondrous world to explore. And so vast. Enjoy this little corner of it. Then take another step.

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

April 10, 2017 08:59 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Oscar Peterson - Hymn To Freedom - Night Train
Baird Hersey & The Year of the Ear - Have You Heard? - Have You Heard?
Albert Villa - Old Boy - Foreground Music
Bill Withers - I Don’t Know - Still Bill
Marcus Miller - I Can’t Breath - Afrodeezia
Steps Ahead - Northern Cross - Steps Ahead
Manhattan Transfer - Move - Vocalese
DJ Foodie - Trip To The Moon - Cold Cuts
King Crimson - Sailor’s Tale - Islands
Pat Metheny - Tell It All - First Circle
Otis Redding - Pain In My Heart - History of Otis Redding
Brian Blade - Embers - Landmarks
Cannonball Adderley - Love For Sale - Somethin’ Else
Clara Ward & - Just A Little While To Stay Here - We Gotta Shout!
The Dukes of Dixieland
Flora Purim & Airto - Move It On Up - Humble People
Donald Harrison & Terence Blanchard - Slam - Crystal Stair

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Information about previous Sets will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom” is a gorgeous piece of piano playing, which evokes both the social and political aims of the Civil Rights movement and the spirituality that fueled it. It’s the final cut of Peterson’s most classic album. Forgive the scratchiness of the sound. I played it off of a very well used piece of old vinyl.

Lately, more of the music you hear on Jazz Gumbo is coming from digital files, but most of the older, soulful tunes are coming off of albums I’ve been carrying around for a lot of years. It’s a wonder that some of them still play at all. Wither’s “I Don’t Know” is an old favorite, from an album I bought while in high school, back in the early seventies.

I was turned onto Baird Hersey, whose album cover is featured this week, by the proprietor of a used record store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I never saw Hersey live, but among his large ensemble were musicians I often saw in local clubs, which was surely a reason I bought this and two other of Hersey’s excellent albums.

I once caught Terence Blanchard in Boston, in a concert in which he got into a cutting contest with rival trumpeter Jon Faddis. Faddis “won”, in that he was the flashier of the two, and hit a few blistering high notes that drove the audience wild. But it was Blanchard who came with the rich tone, and the beautiful, melodic lines. What a show that was!

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

April 05, 2017 12:41 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Lonnie Liston Smith - Shadows - Expansions
Kenny Garrett - Philly - Do Your Dance!
Charlie Parker - Drifting On A Reed - Anthology
Eddie Jefferson - I’ve Got The Blues(Lester Leaps In) - Golden Essentials
Eero Koivistoinen - Prology & Dance of Animals - Ultima Thule
DJ Foodie - Trip To The Moon - Cold Cuts
Tom Waits - Strange Weather - Big Time
Paquito D’Rivera - Manhattan Burn - Manhattan Burn
Howlin’ Wolf - Sitting on Top of The World - Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf
George Duke, et al - Be Cool - Montreux Summit, vol. 2
Norman Connors - The Creator Has A Master Plan - You Are My Starship
Carmen McRae - Alfie - Carmen’s Gold
Kenny Barron & Dave Holland - The Oracle - The Art Of Conversation
Curlew - Barking - Live In Berlin
Arve Henriksen - Recording Angel - Cartography

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Information about previous Sets will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

One of my main inspiration for doing Jazz Gumbo is Eric Jackson, a long time jazz deejay in Boston. I listened to him while I was in college, and even more after I dropped out and spent the next few years in Cambridge, working odd jobs and thinking about being a writer. I say ‘thinking about’ because in truth, I did a lot more thinking and dreaming than I did actual writing.

I had a beast of a 1940’s era, cast iron, Royal typewriter that I bought in a pawnshop in Central Square. I'd pound away at it in spurts of an hour or so at a time, but that was mostly tortuous. I hadn’t figured out yet about letting my work sit for awhile before critiquing it, and I also had no appreciation for the importance of rewriting and editing. I think I believed that most great writing came via first drafts and on waves of inspiration. Consequently, I was mostly horrified at the lack of quality in what came through that Royal typewriter. And because of that, I spent a lot more time reading science fiction, smoking herb and listening to music than I did improving my craft.

Eric’s show was phenomenal. He played such quality music, and such a variety of music. I was heavily into fusion during those years, and Eric certainly played his share of Return to Forever and Weather Report. But what I most remember was that he introduced me to music I was largely unfamiliar with, and a great deal of that was the music of Old Masters whose work I thought was dull and stagnant.

I can well remember some of the great music I heard for the first time on Eric’s show. He introduced me to Horace Silver via a re-issue of some of his 1950’s era work, titled “Sterling Silver”. And he got me really hearing Mingus for the first time when he played the entire 28 minute long “Cumbia & Jazz Fusion”. It was also on his show that I first heard cuts from Joni Mitchell’s “Mingus” album. And the great album “Gifts” by Michael Gregory Jackson that I’ve raved about, but which remains virtually unknown.

Eric comes to mind tonight because he often played Eddie Jefferson. I always loved what Jefferson does, but I never had any of his music. (Except for a couple of great duets with Dexter Gordon that I’ve played on JG). Blame it on the odd jobs, and on the habit of mostly buying my jazz albums in second hand stores. Jefferson’s music just never popped up there. And even when I bought new music, I never ventured into the sections set aside for vocalists. Now, for the first time, I have a subscription to an online music service and am exploring artists and albums at will. And Eddie Jefferson was one of the first artists whose work I sought out.

Tonight’s “I’ve Got The Blues” is a taste of Eddie, and more will follow. I’m glad about the music service. On the down side, I’m now no longer only playing music that I own copies of. I liked that. On the other hand, I’m being exposed to more music than I’ve ever had access to, and I’m passing lots of it on to you.

Be well, good People. Live, Listen & Love, and I’ll be with you again soon!

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

March 25, 2017 11:01 PM PDT
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Artist - Tune - Album
Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra - Prelude
Etienne Charles - Kaiso - Kaiso
Dave Holland - The Empty Chair - Prism
Coleman Tinsley - Jordu - Friends and Family
BadBadNotGood - Hedron - III
Dianne Reeves - Sky Islands - Dianne Reeves
Sonny Rollins - The Bridge - The Bridge
Angie Stone - Soul Insurance - Mahogany Soul
Derrick Gardner & - God's Gift - A Ride To The Other Side
The Jazz Prophets
Banks, Bartz, Carter, Chary, - All Blues - Miles From India
Cobb, Mahanthappa & Vinayakram
Abdullah Ibrahim - Bra Timing From Phomolong - The Mountain
Amp Fiddler - Dreamin’ - Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly
GoGo Penguin - Smarra - Man Made Object
Bennie Maupin - Quasar - Slow Traffic To The Right

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Information about previous Sets will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

March 21, 2017 02:58 PM PDT
itunes pic

Artist - Tune - Album
Peter Erskine - Okraphilia - Dr. Um
Charles Lloyd - Wilpan’s (Live In Norway) - Dreamweaver
Freddie Hubbard - Backlash - Echoes Of Blue
Nicholas Payton - Jazz Is A Four-Letter Word - Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
Janne Schaffer - Stocking Suite - Katharsis
Sonny Boy Williamson - Cross My Heart - This Is My Story
Samuel Yirga - Firma Ena Wereket - Guzo
Stacy Kent - One For My Baby - Collection II
Gregory Porter - Work Song - Be Good
Ibrahim Maalouf - Movement III–Alf Leila Wa Leila - Kalthoum
Robert Glasper - Of Dreams To Come - In My Element
Sonny Fortune - Turning It Over - Infinity Is

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists for all previous Sets of Jazz Gumbo can be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.com

A truism that has been underscored for me from putting together Jazz Gumbo is, “The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know.” I’ve been listening to jazz all my life, and I’ve still only scratched the surface. It’s easy to suppose that delving into a few lists of all-time greatest artists or highest rated albums would expose one to all of the really superb, ground-breaking and unequaled offerings of any given musical genre.

It’s simply not true. For every “Greatest Hit” there are 5 others pieces that devotees of a particular artist will point to as superior, if perhaps less “popular” or “accessible”. Some artists – I’ll point to John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell and Chick Corea among many – produced so much excellent material that it’s only chance that separates the widely recognized masterwork from the overlooked masterwork. And there are the artists who never make it big, but who produce the isolated gem – or even a lifetime’s worth – that simply didn’t get heard enough by the right people at the right time to have registered.

I have long recognized that I’ll never get to all the great music, just as I’ll never get to all the great books or see all the great films. And that’s fine by me. It means I’ll never run out of new discoveries, now sounds that will stun and delight me, that will sound like nothing I’ve heard before.

This Set is very largely made up of material that is new to me, and much of it is fairly recent as well. One of the great benefits of doing this show is that old friends and new ones – made through this site – recommend amazing artists, and work by artists I already know, that I was not aware of. Here are a few of them.

Thrive!
Kirby Obsidian

March 12, 2017 02:18 PM PDT
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Artist - Tune - Album
Pharoah Sanders - Astral Traveling - Thembi
The Headhunters - If You’ve Got It, You’ll Get It - Survival Of The Fittest
Jimi Hendrix - Power Of Soul - Band Of Gypsys
Dexter Gordon - Devilette - Montreux Collection
dj Cheb i Sabbah - Ganga Dev - MahaMaya – Shri Durga Remixed
Clifford Brown - Night In Tunisia - The Beginning And The End
Joni Mitchell - Chair In The Sky - Mingus
Joe Bonner - The Lifesaver - The Lifesaver
War - Gypsy Man - Deliver The Word
Jay Hoggard - Blues Bags - Overview
Fats Waller - The Joint Is Jumpin’ - Giants of Jazz
Ramsey Lewis - Eternal Journey - Maiden Voyage

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists for all previous Sets of Jazz Gumbo can be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.com

February 23, 2017 10:55 PM PST
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Artist – Tune – Album
The Mahavishnu Orchestra - Vital Transformation - The Inner Mounting Flame
Opa - Corre Niña – Goldenwings
Trombone Shorty - Do To Me - For True
featuring Jeff Beck
Charles Mingus - Jelly Roll - Better Git It In Your Soul
Cleo Laine - Tell Me Lies - I Am A Song
Ramsey Lewis - Maiden Voyage - Maiden Voyage
Robert Glasper featuring - You’re My Everything - Black Radio II
Jasmine Sullivan & Bilal
Kevin Eubanks - Who Knows – Sundance
Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) - I Never Loved A Man
The Way I Love You
Luis Gasca – Sara – Collage
David Murray - O’Leonso – Gwotet
The Jackson 5 - Who’s Lovin’ You - Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5
Errol Garner - Just One Of Those Things – Dreamstreet
Chick Corea & John McLaughlin - New Blues, Old Bruise - Five Peace Band (Live)
Charlie Haden & Quartet West - The Long Goodbye - Haunted Heart

The opening theme for Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Buckshot Lefonque.
Playlists for all past Sets are available at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Kirby Obsidian

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