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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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November 13, 2018 10:38 AM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
John Coltrane - Cousin Mary - Giant Steps
Tony Williams - Going Far - The Joy of Flying
Dinah Washington - Blues in the Night - The Complete Dinah Washington
Charles Mingus - Better Git It In Your Soul - Mingus Ah Um
Charnett Moffett - For You - Net Man
Julian Priester - Rhythm Magnet - Polarization
Howard Johnson - Stolen Moments - Gravity!!!
Ornette Coleman - Lonely Woman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
The HeadHunters - Ms Yum Yum - Straight from the Gate
Linda Lewis - Lark - Lark
Mark Ronson, Erykay Badu, etal - A La Modeliste - Ronson’s Re:Generation
Return to Forever - 500 Miles High - Light as a Feather
George Duke - Crave E Canela - A Brazilian Love Affair
Opa - Montevideo - Magic Time
David Murray featuring Amiri Baraka - Evidence - Fo Deuk Revue
Wes Montgomery - Up and At It - Down Here on the Ground
Adam Makowicz - Indiana - Moonray
Charles Mingus - Cumbia & Jazz Fusion - Cumbia & Jazz Fusion

A complete record of all Jazz Gumbo Sets is available at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

Hello Jazz Lovers!

Sorry that I've been absent for so long.

I came across information that has me concerned about copyright issues related to this Podcast. So I'm not sure that I'll be able to continue.

In the meantime, here's a Set from the early days for you to enjoy.


September 12, 2018 08:39 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Harlem River Drive - Idle Hands - Harlem River Drive
Sonny Fortune - The Afro-Americans - Serengeti Minstrel
David Murray - Village Urbana - Fo Deuk Revue
Joan Armatrading - Down To Zero - Joan Armatrading
Ahmad Jamal - Rossiter Road - Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival 1985
The Bad Plus - Seven Minute Mind - Made Possible
Griot Galaxy - XY Moch - Kins
Sy Smith - Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete
- Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete
Wayne Shorter - Diana - Native Dancer
Wayne Shorter - From the Lonely Afternoon - Native Dancer
Aretha Franklin - Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Aretha’s Greatest Hits
Charlie Haden & Quartet West - Live Your Dreams - In Angel City
Robert Glasper - Consequences Of Jealousy - Black Radio
Dinah Washington - What A Diff’rence A Day Made
- What A Diff’rence A Day Makes!
Ramsey Lewis - Collage - Upendo Ni Pamoja
Michael Kaeshammer - Lands End Parade - The Pianist
Anita O’Day - The Moon Looks Down And Laughs - Travelin’ Light
Phronesis, Julian Argüelles - Herne Hill - The Behemoth
Bobby McFerrin featuring Esperanza Spalding - Glory - Spirityouall

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

A glorious Set of music! I can’t help myself. I feel that way about almost every Set, though I did admit to feeling that the last one was kind of a weird mishmash. This Set holds together much better. It flows better. And Aretha’s great cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic soars right in the middle of it.

We’ve lost Aretha. And the last weeks have been full of tributes and memorials to her. My only small addition to the chorus of appreciation and love is to surround her transcendent music with more of the same. And I think this Set manages that. I’ll only draw attention to the two numbers that precede and follow Aretha, The offerings from Wayne Shorter and Charlie Haden. I won’t say any more than that. I’ll just leave it to you to enjoy.


September 03, 2018 10:18 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Steve Khan - Darlin’, Darlin Baby - Tightrope
Benny Maupin & Dr. Patrick Gleeson - The Work - Driving While Black
Lonnie Smith - Journey to Within - Gotcha
Art Tatum - Gershwin Medley - The Tatum Solo Masterpieces – Vol.4
Keith Jarrett - Diatribe - Shades
Roberta Flack - To Love Somebody - Quiet Fire
Chuck Mangione - Bellavia - Bellavia
Buster Williams - Sophisticated Lady - Something More
Joni Mitchell - Shine - Shine
Ray Charles - Diane - Essential Classics
Norman Connors - Carlos II - Love From The Sun
Autorickshaw - Save Me - Meter
John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette - Sing Song - Gateway II
St. Germain - Sittin’ Here - Electronic
Johnny Griffin & Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis - Blues Up and Down - The Toughest Tenors

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

A very weird Set this was. I didn’t feel like I had any consistent direction or inspiration to it. Had no idea whether it would flow or not. Still don’t know, really. If you have an opinion on that, please feel free to let me know.

Regardless, some of the music really stuck in my head, both around the time I recorded the Set, and during this last week of editing it bit by bit, while on my commute to and from work. It was edited with about the same lack of focus that went into the recording.

Autorickshaw is I group I’d only experienced via fm radio until recently, and even that hasn’t been anytime recently. Frankly, I hadn’t realized they were still performing. Not until I came out of Union Station one day, at the end of my late morning commute, to find them performing as part of a Summer Lunchtime Concerts series at that location. The music stopped me in my tracks. I arrived at work half an hour late, and with a new vinyl purchase under my arm. I got to hear them play this “Save Me” live, as well as a very interesting cover of Paul Simon’s “……”.

Another surprise was to recognize Ed Hanley, the most excellent tabla player there on the stage. I’ve had a CD of his table solos for the last few years, and have even featured one or two on this show. I’d never realized that he was a founding member of this unique trio. Anyway, this tune of theirs has been on a replay loop in my mind for weeks now.

I love Lonnie Smith and what he can do. That goes for the cut “Journey to Within” featured here. I love that lazy, droopy bass line. But I’ll admit that I otherwise really dislike the album it comes from. I won’t bother to get into why. But it’s one of those not uncommon experiences of the music lover: to encounter that work by an admired artist that has little-to-none of the essence of what makes that artist so beloved. But there is this one cut!

A sentence of admiration and appreciation to Aretha Franklin. She will be missed. The outpouring of love, the way people everywhere have been playing and singing her music, in remembrance and tribute, has been heartwarming. I played favorites of mine on the shows that immediately preceded and followed her death, but I’m not likely to have them up for weeks yet. There will never be another like her!


August 15, 2018 09:25 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
James Brown - Cold Sweat - 30 Golden Hits
Al Jarreau - Morning - Jarreau
JoAnne Brackeen - Beagles Boogie - Ancient Dynasties
Buckshot LeFonque - Weary With Toil - Music Evolution
Pat Metheny - Two Folk Songs – Part II - 80/81
Vital Information - Global Beats - Global Beat
Vital Information - Black Eyebrows - Global Beat
Joe Williams - Sounds Of The Night - Jump For Joy
Max Roach - St. Louis Blues - Drums Unlimited
Carla Bley - Sing Me Softly Of The Blues - Dinner Music
Dave Douglas - Orujo - Spirit Moves
Marcus Miller featuring Macy Gray - Girls and Boys - Silver Rain
Michael Gregory Jackson - Gifts - Gifts
Nguyên Lê - Evening Glory - Walking On The Tiger’s Tail
Nina Simone - Feeling Good - Compact Jazz: Nina Simone
Charlie Parker - Ornithology - Anthology
Herbie Hancock - Actual Proof - Thrust

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

I guess it’s inevitable that after 160+ shows, much of the music I play on Jazz Gumbo has been played here before. After all, I have my favorite artists, and from each of them, I have favorite cuts. I’m always discovering great new artists and music, but not at the rate of 15 cuts per week. So, I’m pleased that half of tonight’s selections are first time features, and that I’m featuring two artists for the first time, they being Dave Douglas and Joe Williams, the former a contemporary musician I’m just getting to know, and the latter, a great of yesteryear, whom I’ve known about but have never tried to fit here.

The opening bass line of the Williams piece is very interesting. With that arrangement, it might be taken as something pretty contemporary. My ear half expected Elizabeth Shepherd to come in for the vocal. From that angle, it strikes the ear as something ‘retro modern’, instead of just old. But Williams has a strong, clear and beautiful voice, so he pulls it off. And it fits nicely into the Set.

I want to mention one of the pieces I have featured before. Nina Simone has been around for a long time, and I’ve long been familiar with her work, but only in recent years has she become a personal favorite. Odd, isn’t it, how we grow into and out of music. This tune is so spectacular in its depth of feeling. That’s one of the things that surely set Simone apart. You hear her emotion in just about everything she does.

Okay, one more mention. Herbie Hancock’s early fusion albums, Headhunters and Thrust, in particular, just get better and better. The music is so rich and deep, in rhythm and tone and harmony. It’s so layered and complex, yet flows so hard. This fusion is to hard bop what a mango is to a peach! When I really let myself be immersed in it, it carries me places. So brilliant!

Love & Happiness, People!

August 10, 2018 05:50 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil - Speak No Evil
John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius & Tony Williams - Dark Prince - Trio Of Doom
Osibisa - Beautiful 7 - Woyaya
Paul Horn - Reflected Moon - China
Gerry Niewood - Joy - Gerry Niewood & Timepiece
Linda Lewis - Old Smokey - Lark
Kenny Garrett - Wheatgrass Shot - Do Your Dance!
Return to Forever - Where Have I Loved You Before? - Where Have I Known You Before?
Return to Forever - The Shadow of Lo - Where Have I Known You Before?
Ryan Porter - The Psalmist - The Optimist
Santana - Waiting - Santana
Dexter Gordon - In Case You Haven’t Heard - Homecoming
Stevie Wonder - Love’s In Need Of Love Today - Songs In The Key Of Life
Joe Bonner - Love’s Dance - Angel Eyes
Bill Frisell, Melvin Gibbs, Ronald Shannon Jackson - Blame & Shame - Power Tools: Strange Meeting

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

There are a few pieces in this Set that are fairly new to me, and that I really love.

We can start with the opening number, Shorter’s “Speak No Evil”. This is an album I’ve wanted to explore for a while, and now having done so, I’m a little annoyed with myself for having taken so long. Shorter has covered such a range of music over the last half century that I’m not surprised that this is so different than the late 60’s and early 70’s music that introduced us. I’ll even go so far as to say that his constant evolution is a reason it’s taken so long for me to get to this one. No only Shorter, but so many leading artists of his generation, continue to be in constant flux, so one could never assume the qualities of an unfamiliar album. This is a sweet one.

Another one I really like is “Blame & Shame” by Power Tools. This is from a vinyl album I bought a few years ago, because I liked other work by both Frisell and Jackson, but didn’t much appreciate initially. My ears had to grow into it over time. And as is so often the case, I now can’t hear whatever it was about the album that put me off. This is the arc of listening I often refer to here and on the show as “stretching the ears”. When an artist has spoken to me powerfully in one style, I generally assume that they can still reach me, even if their style has changed. I first experienced this listening arc through following the likes of Trane and Miles, and I think it holds true for just about any artist who truly puts themself into their art.

A third new favorite is “The Psalmist” from Ryan Porter. Wow! Is it ever rousing! Unlike the other artists I’m mentioning here, Porter wasn’t even a name to me. I don’t remember when I first heard him, but I have that wonderful Shazam app to thank for getting him into my phone, and his name onto my list to explore. It sure paid off, and I look forward to hearing more from him.

A final mention goes to Kenny Garrett’s “Wheatgrass Shot”. Never imagined I’d hear an ode to wheatgrass, but here it is. And it’s great. I haven’t had a shot in a while, and this has me thinking to drop into one of those health juice shops!

Love & Thrive!

August 03, 2018 06:15 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Cleveland Eaton - Here Comes Funky Lou - Half and Half
Sonny Rollins - It’s All Right With Me - Worktime
Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, - Donkey - Pastorius/Metheny/Ditmas/Bley
Bruce Ditmas & Paul Bley
Al Green - Love & Happiness - I’m Still In Love With You
Wojtek Mazolewski & Dennis Gonzalez - Pushing Le Car - Shaman
Abdullah Ibrahim - Cape Town Fringe - Cape Town Fringe
Ashley Henry - Pressure - Easter
Terence Blanchard & Donald Harrison - Slam - Crystal Stair
Joni Mitchell - Don't Interrupt The Sorrow - The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Michel Camilo - Nefertiti - Spirit Of The Moment
Michael Buble - Dream A Little Dream - It’s Time
Wynton Marsalis - Think Of One - Think Of One
Kevin Eubanks - Mellow Fellow - Sundance

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

“Cape Town Fringe”, the long piece in the middle of the Set, sounds to me like I imagine South Africa feels and tastes. It’s a folksy, repetitive number that’s also bright and somewhat festive and also easy-going and fluid. It was my introduction to the music of Abdullah Ibrahim a few decades ago, when he still performed under the name Dollar Brand. It made me a fan. The next of his albums that I got hold of is titled “African Space Program” and features an album cover photo of the broad, dusty Savannah – a nice play on the concepts of folkways and modern progress. I hope you relax into the easy rhythms of the piece.

I also came to know Joni Mitchell’s music way back then – must’ve been the 70’s. A friend told me about this album. “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”, is another title that I love, with album art depicting a group of people carrying a python across an expanse of green that fronts a cityscape of both residential homes and skyscrapers.

Art & Music. Ideas, Images & Sounds.

Mostly old classic works this Set. But give a good listen to the very outstanding newer music. Buble with an oldie but goodie, Ashley Henry with a dynamic pulser, and Polish Mazolewski teaming with American Gonzalez for a very playful and conceptual piece.

Thank you for your Ears and for sharing the Love of this Music!


July 12, 2018 10:22 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Gato Barbieri & Don Cherry - Togetherness–First Movement - Togetherness
David Friesen - In The Place of Calling - Amber Skies
Erykah Badu - On and On - Baduizm
Dewey Redman - Daystar Nightlight - Musics
Jack DeJohnette - Dancing - Parallel Realities
The Friends of Distinction - It’s Time To See Each Other - Friends & People
Gary Burton - Summer Band Camp - Easy As Pie
Weather Report - Domino Theory - Domino Theory
Taj Mahal - Going Up to the Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue - The Natch’l Blues
Jean-Luc Ponty - Ethereal Mood - Cosmic Messenger
Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim - Desafinado - Getz / Gilberto
Charlie Christian - Stardust - Solo Flight
Pharoah Sanders - Thembi - Thembi
Dianne Reeves - Feels So Good - Beautiful Life
Tony Williams - Dreamland - Angel Street
Frank Lowe - Fresh - Fresh

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

During the live Set, I neglected to mention that the DeJohnette piece features Herbie Hancock as well as Pat Metheny. (Sometimes it seems that Hancock is featured on half the numbers I play, he’s been a guest artist to so many of his colleagues over the decades) Essentially, this is a trio album, and DeJohnette and Metheny co-produced.

I can’t help but wonder sometimes, why an album is attributed to one artist instead of another. In this case, DeJohnette and Metheny each wrote three tunes, and they co-wrote the seventh. And in my opinion, the best of them, including “Dancing”, are Metheny’s.

Another curious example is “Desafinado”, a huge hit that’s been covered by dozens of artists. It, and almost all the other music on the album, including the even more massive hit, “The Girl from Ipanema”, were composed by Jobim. But the listing above is no mistake. The album is titled “Getz / Gilberto”, while Jobim is ‘featured’. Even more egregiously, Astrud Gilberto, the female voice to her husband’s on “Ipanema”, isn’t properly credited at all, only mentioned in passing in the liner notes. In fairness, she only sang on the one tune, and this was in fact her first ever recording, and it launched a career.

A third variety of missing attribution was completely the norm in the 60’s and 70’s. Pop, Rock and Soul groups often failed to list the names of the group’s members. So the name Jessica Cleaves is nowhere to be found in the credits or listings of The Friends of Distinction album (nor those of her male colleagues, Harry Elston and Floyd Butler) though you will find the names of producers, arrangers, technicians, album artists and the guy who wrote the liner notes.

Kind of odd, isn’t it?

Enjoy the beautiful music, friends!

Kirby Obsidian

July 04, 2018 10:48 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Abdullah Ibrahim - The Mountain - The Mountain
Pat Labarbera - Virgo Dance - Virgo Dance
Donny Hathaway - The Ghetto - Everything is Everything
Bosho - Atsui Yoro No Kawa - Live at the Knitting Factory, vol. one
Charles Lloyd - Night Blooming Jasmine - A Night in Copenhagen
Billy Cobham - Spanish Moss - Crosswinds
Etienne Charles - Papa Bois - Folklore
Robert Glasper - Y’Outta Praise Him – intro - In My Element
Robert Glasper - Y’Outta Praise Him - In My Element
Adam Makovicz - Django - Moonray
Frank Sinatra - Mood Indigo - In The Wee Small Hours
Anthony Braxton - Spring Is Here - Seven Standards 1985, vol. 1
Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Joy Spring - Jordu
Jazzmeia Horn - People Make The World Go Round - A Social Call
Eddie Harris - Abstractions - Bad Luck Is All I Have

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

I hope you can all enjoy the flow of moods in this Set. The serenity of Ibrahim’s “The Mountain” was just what I needed when I entered the studio after a busy and chaotic work day. I was glad for the particular selection of vinyl I’d pulled off the shelves that morning, as lots of it perfectly fit the shifting temperaments of the day. And the special beauty of digital music libraries is that I then had so much else to draw on.

The Bosho number, the Makovicz and the Sinatra are all from my vinyl collection, as are the opening and closing numbers, and some others.

One of the bits I pulled from the digital library is Glasper’s two-part “Y’Outta Praise Him.” Talk about flowing. That word almost defines Glasper’s style; his structures are almost minimalist, but support so much feeling and depth.

I’m glad to finally present a full length version of “Joy Spring”. A real favorite that, until recently, I only had in a 4 minute version. Jazzmeia Horn’s take on the soul classic “People Make the World Go Round” is a perfect update. I was so, so glad to have finally downloaded a full length version of “Joy Spring”, though I still hope to find it on vinyl someday. And I think that Eddie Harris’s “Abstractions” was a fitting finale. I hope you’ll agree.

I’ve experienced an explosion of downloads from the site recently. Lots of activity from the Netherlands and Germany, as well as Baltimore in the US. I’d love for some of you folks to send a message now and then. Let me know who you are, and what you like best about the show. It’s good to know you’re out there!

Kirby Obsidian

June 26, 2018 08:19 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Eddie Palmieri & Harlem River Drive - Harlem River Drive - Harlem River Drive
Marquis Hill - Black Harvest - Modern Flows EP, Vol. 1
Erykah Badu - Turn Me Away - New Amerykah, Pt. 2
Cinematic Orchestra - Reel Life (Evolution II) - Man With A Movie
Tony Williams - Tony - The Joy Of Flying
Dinah Washington - It Isn’t Fair - This Is My Story, Vol. Two
Steely Dan - Aja - Aja
The Headhunters - Descending Azzizziuh - Straight From The Gate
Eddie Jefferson - Sister Sadie - Golden Essentials
Sy Smith - Perspective - Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete
Joe Jackson - Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid - Jumpin’ Jive
Gladys Knight - Daddy Could Swear - Gladys Knight and the Pips Anthology
Grant Green - Brazil - Right Now
Jay Hoggard - Startin The Blues En Clave - The Right Place
Leszek Możdżer, Lars Danielsson, Zohar Fresco - Karma Party - Polska
Freddie Hubbard - Space Track - The Black Angel

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

During my early teens, I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which was a very diverse community. My junior high school’s population was about a third Black, a third White and a third Puerto Rican. Aside from having lots of Puerto Ricans as school mates, I can’t say that I absorbed a great deal of that culture. Except, that is, for the Music! In the streets, the playgrounds, the shops and apartment buildings, the strains of Puerto Rican music were as prevalent as any other.

Unfortunately, I was a product of that bias-blinded time. Back then, the mainstream cultural media covered all things White, and little else. My Black friends and I listened to the Black radio stations. And I guess my Puerto Rican friends had their own stations to listen to. Though our environment brought us all together, and we shared in many ways, there were barriers of behavior and preference and taste that we observed without being consciously aware of them. I remember that there was one Puerto Rican boy who was dating a White girl. I don’t think there was any substantial, negative social reaction to that, but just the fact that I remember it tells me how rare that sort of mixing was.

Similarly, though I remember watching the live premiere of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” one evening, along with just about everyone else, I don’t think I’d ever have spent my money to buy the record. It would’ve seemed disloyal, to all the Black artists – like James Brown – whose talent was hardly acknowledged by the status quo. And on the flip side, though I knew the names of Tito Puente, Willie Colon and Eddie Palmieri, and was drawn to the Puerto Rican music I heard, and even recognized that Puerto Ricans shared a lot with Black Americans as dis-advantaged and disparaged people, it never occurred to me, until decades later, to delve a bit more into this music, these people, their culture.

Eddie Palmieri did something about this cultural divide when he formed Harlem River Drive in 1971. The actual expressway for which the band is named, and which the song speaks to, was a way for suburbanites travelling to and from lower Manhattan to by-pass the Black ghetto or Harlem and the Puerto Rican ghetto that was East Harlem. Palmieri’s band brought together the musical styles of these two communities in this music. Their theme song opens up this Set of Jazz Gumbo, and their album cover is this week’s feature.


June 19, 2018 07:58 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Tania Maria - Tranquility - Taurus
Terence Blanchard - No Borders Just Horizons - Magnetic
Jowee Omicil - Straight In My Pocket - Let’s Do This
Jean-Luc Ponty - Echoes Of The Future - Upon The Wings Of Music
Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery - Night Train - Jimmy & Wes – The Dynamic Duo
The Temptations - Psychedelic Shack - Psychedelic Shack
Weather Report - Punk Jazz - Mr. Gone
Airto Moreira - La De Casa - Promises Of The Sun
Nancy Wilson & George Shearing - On Green Dolphin Street - The Swingin’s Mutual
Dionne Warwick - This Girl’s In Love With You - The Dionne Warwick Story
Miles Davis - Mademoiselle Mabry - Filles De Kilimanjaro
Max Roach - Driva Man - We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite
featuring Abbey Lincoln
Billie Holiday - Porgy - The Billie Holiday Story
Dizzy Gillespie - Our Delight - In The Beginning
Ray Charles & Cleo Laine - I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ - Porgy and Bess

The ode to musical styles past and present that introduces Jazz Gumbo is “Music Evolution” by Branford Marsalis and Buckshot LeFonque.

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at jazzgumbo.blogspot.ca

I never leave the Regent Park Focus studio on a Monday evening not feeling better than when I got there. It just feels so good to spend an hour and a half or so simply sharing great music!

There was a time in my life when I spent a lot of time listening to music. I mean really listening. Not doing other things and having music on in the background. I mean hours every week when the listening was the main thing going on. It’s a wonder to me how that was possible, because nowadays there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, in the week, in Life.

Honestly, I don’t know if it’s me, society, or just a natural part of that time warp that comes with getting older. Whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to solve the issue of time. I can’t fairly call it a problem because how can a lack of time be a problem when life is made up of time? It would be like a fish complaining about a shortage of water. Clearly, time itself isn’t the issue. It’s rather something to do with how I/we relate to it (because it isn’t just me, is it?).

So, one of the very special things about Jazz Gumbo is that it has given me back a quantity of time. It’s time that was always there, obviously. But curating this show has infused a few hours of each week with a quality that was lacking. I’m listening to music again, in the way I used to: carefully, with my attention and my heart. And I’m listening communally, you could say, because I’m listening with an ear to sharing it with you. And I’ve learned from my Podomatic stats sheet that you are literally All Over The World! A vast community of music lovers! And that touches me.

Those early times I referred to, when I took time to listen to music carefully…they almost always had some connection to others. Either I was physically with them, or I was exploring music someone had told me about, or I was listening to it being performed live. Or sometimes, it might just be the connection with the musician, who we understand – when we really listen – is sharing something, is telling a Life Story. It was a dynamic exercise in community. And Jazz Gumbo, and YOU, have brought that dimension back to me. I’m very grateful. And I thank you.

Enjoy the Music


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