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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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April 17, 2018 11:30 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Horace Silver - Calcutta Cutie - Song For My Father
Taj Mahal - Music Keeps Me Together - Music Keeps Me Together
BadBadNotGood - Kaleidoscope - III
Cleo Laine - Friendly Persuasion - I Am A Song
Miles Davis - Oleo - Relaxin’ with …
Russell Gunn - Skate King - Krunk Jazz
Luis Gasca - Little Mama - For Those Who Chant
Pat Metheny - Tell It All - First Circle
Phronesis - Zieding - Walking Dark
Jay Clayton - Beginner - Circle Dancing
McCoy Tyner - Desert Cry - Sama Layuca
Miles Davis - Nem Um Talvez - Live–Evil
James Blood Ulmer - Light-Eyed - Are You Glad To Be In America
Branford Marsalis - Blues For One - In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral

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

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

Thanks for Listening!

Kirby Obsidian

April 08, 2018 01:41 AM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Buckshot Lefonque - Music Evolution - Music Evolution
JoAnne Brackeen - Let Me Know - Keyed In
Norman Connors - Revelation - Love From the Sun
Sarah Vaughan - Stardust - The Complete Sarah Vaughan
Pharoah Sanders - You Got to have Freedom - Journey to the One
Anthony Braxton - BOR...H - Five Pieces – Fall 1975
Keith Jarrett - Great Bird - Death and the Flower
Dianne Reeves - Chan’s Song - Dianne Reeves
Chuck Mangione - Can’t We Do This All Night - Chase the Clouds Away
John Coltrane - Welcome - Kulu se Mama
Hugh Masakela - Night in Tunisia - I am Not Afraid
Lonnie Smith - Son of Ice Bag - Think!
Metalwood - The Hipster - The Recline
Jack DeJohnette - John McKee - Parallel Realities
Soundtrack Cast - America - West Side Story
Bobby McFerrin - Blackbird - Simple Pleasures
Sekoya - Fugitive Pieces - Sekoya
Miles Davis - Right Off - Jack Johnson
Steps Ahead - Safari - Modern Times

This as the very first Set of Jazz Gumbo, from almost 6 years ago.

The featured album back then was from Buckshot LeFonque’s “Music Evolution” album. I knew right away that the title track would be perfect for introducing the show every week.

The short-lived group was founded and led by Branford Marsalis, who has forever been a musical explorer, delving into all manner of instrumental groupings and genre-mixing. The composition speaks to the evolution of music over time. This how has always been intended to embrace the wide range of influences that generated jazz in the first place, as well as all the directions it has grown into. And it celebrates the musicians who have loved it and kept it nourished by all they bring to it.

The album cover this time around belongs to the group Sekoya. I happened to catch them on late night television about twenty years ago. Loved them immediately and to this day I’m amazed that they didn’t enjoy more success. Such are the ways of the industry and culture. Genius is everywhere, but doesn’t always get heard widely.

This show was an opportunity to feature music I love. Some of it I’ve been listening to since I was a child, and some of it is music I’ve discovered relatively recently. Most of it is from the greats, from those whose genius was heard widely. But much of it is from lesser knowns who deserve to be heard, as we deserve to hear them.

Most of this music is played from vinyl, because all my life, that’s what I’ve bought and listened to. Not exclusively, because most of the music I’ve come to love during the last two decades wasn’t marketed primarily on vinyl. But most of what I know well enough to share is older music, from what I think of as the age of original vinyl, which ended about 1991.

Sekoya is part of the newer generation. I’ve never seen their work on vinyl and don’t know if it’s available in that format. But I play what I Love, that I have.

I hope that you love the music too, and that you will support the artists who create it, as you are able.

Kirby Obsidian

p.s. And oh, one other thing: This show, being my very first, is packed with a lot of my very, very favorite music. It's a damn good Set. You're gonna Love it. If you're a regular listener, you've heard many of them over the years. Enjoy them again!

April 01, 2018 03:48 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Marquis Hill - King Legend - Modern Flows EP, Vol. 1
Julian Priester - 1239A - Keep Swingin’ & Spiritsville
Sonny Rollins - St. Thomas - Saxophone Colossus
Gerry Bryant - Take Five - Interpretations
Dee Dee Bridgewater - Angel Eyes - Keeping Tradition
Weather Report - 125th St. Congress - Sweetnighter
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Lila’s Dance - Visions of the Emerald Beyond
Contemporary Noise Sextet - Morning Ballet - Ghostwriter’s Joke
Jay Hoggard - Guataca - The Right Place
Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.) - Tuesday Wonderland - Tuesday Wonderland

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

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

The featured album cover is for the work of a dear old friend, Gerry Bryant. He’s an artist whose appreciation of jazz and of classical music have always run parallel, and this album features his interpretations of music from both genres. He also leads a band, Pocketwatch, which is referenced in the cover art.

This is a shorter Set, but with a nice blend of new and old. But, I did it again. The Marquis Hill piece was featured on the very last Jazz Gumbo. My gray cells are over-taxed.

Thanks for your listening ears. I hope the Set brings you the same pleasures it brought me.

Kirby Obsidian

March 20, 2018 03:19 PM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Cleveland Eaton - John’s Groove - Taurus
Baaba Maal - Soukanayo - Nomad Soul
Cassandra Wilson - Closer To You - Thunderbird
Herbie Hancock - Riot - Speak Like A Child
Marquis Hill - King Legend - Modern Flows EP, Vol. 1
Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Biréli Lagrène - Paradigm Shift - D-Stringz
Gregory Porter & Lalah Hathaway - Insanity - Take Me To The Alley
Howard Johnson & Gravity - Yesterdays - Gravity!!!
Phronesis - Walking Dark - Walking Dark
Sarah Vaughan - Everyday I Have The Blues - Sassy Swings Again
Victor Wooten - Cupid - Trypnotyx
Horace Silver - Que Pasa - Song For My Father

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

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at

Question: Didn't that cover of "Yesterdays" by Howard Johnson & Gravity just Blow You Away!?! Did you suspect that a Tuba could sound so sweet? Let alone 6 of them?!?

Thanks to Keith Coston in Detroit and his Podcast, Jazz Renaisance. He puts out great Sets, through which I’ve been introduced to a number of newer artists, including Marquis Hill and Phronesis who are included in this Set.

There’s such a wealth of great talent and great music out there, that friendly guides with similar tastes help us to the artists that will speak to us most deeply. So thanks to this community of sharing people, spreading the love.

Most importantly, Thanks to the Musicians! This is pure amateurism on my part – sharing incredible art because I love it. And I hope that this sharing benefits those who pour their entire lives into it, especially those lesser known music makers, like Cleveland Eaton and Howard Johnson, and the side-players, orchestras and choruses.

In this world of the 1% and the 99%, the arts world is imbalanced like any other. A precious few musicians live in luxury and renown, while the great multitudes of others – sometimes as great as the revered – share their gifts in obscurity, or lack the opportunity of even that. I’m thinking more these days about how the Arts benefit me, and about how I support Art, or whether I even do that, in its many forms.

Kirby Obsidian

ps - I seem to have become absent minded about what I've recently played. So yes, the Sarah Vaughan piece was played just two Sets ago.

March 15, 2018 12:37 AM PDT

Artist - Tune - Album
Eric Dolphy - Juggin’ Around - Eric Dolphy
Mike Nock, Bennie Maupin, - Double Split - Almanac
Cecil McBee, Eddie Marshall
Oscar Peterson - Ellington Medley - Digital at Montreux
Chaka Khan, Lenny White, Chick Corea, - All Of Me - Echoes Of An Era
Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke
Jeff Beck - Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers - Blow By Blow
Julius Hemphill - Leora - Julius Hemphill Big Band
Pat Martino - Line Games - Joyous Lake
Oregon - The Rapids - Oregon
Hugh Masekela - In The Marketplace - I Am Not Afraid
The Heath Brothers - Mellowdrama - Passing Thru…
Joan Armatrading - The Weakness In Me - Walk Under Ladders
Branford Marsalis - Love Stone - Renaissance
Michal Urbaniak - Circular Road - Serenade For The City
Nina Simone - I Shall Be Released - To Love Somebody

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

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at

This set was broadcast and recorded shortly after the passing of Hugh Masekela on January 23rd. I never got to see Masekela live, but enjoyed his music from the time of his big hit in the 60’s with “Grazing In The Grass”. The album I played from here, “I Am Not Afraid” has been a favorite for decades.

It was only after years of listening to his music, and that of his countryman Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand), and later to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, that I came to recognize the particular South African-ness of this music. There’s a beautiful melancholy in it that evokes a depth of feeling. It’s music that – like the tune I played this night – can’t help but tell a story. It’s just so full of life and memory.

How many of the musicians who contributed to this Set have passed, I couldn’t say. Oscar Peterson passed not so many years ago, and in tonight’s offering he makes a dazzling tribute to Ellington, who passed long before him, and to Billy Strayhorn, who wrote “Lush Life”, one of the sweetest, most melancholy tunes ever written.

What a thing it must be to leave music behind, and to forever be able to touch hearts with melody and harmony and rhythm, as these great musicians have done. They spread joy, they spread love, and so remain deeply engaged with life.

Kirby Obsidian

March 07, 2018 02:32 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Courtney Pine - The 37th Chamber - Modern Day Jazz Stories
Michal Urbaniak - Y Note - Urban Express
The Cinematic Orchestra - All That You Can Give - Every Day
Nana Simopoulos - Wings and Air - Wings and Air
Nat King Cole - But Beautiful - The Very Thought Of You
Abdullah Ibrahim - The Perfumed Forest, Wet With Rain - Africa–Tears & Laughter
Jill Scott - A Long Walk - Who Is Jill Scott
Chico Freeman - Monk 2000 - The Pied Piper
Mandrill - Mango Meat - Just Outside Of Town
Marion Brown featuring Allen Murphy - Visions - Vista
Pharoah Sanders - Greetings to Idris - Journey To The One
Billy Joel - Just The Way You Are - The Stranger
Sarah Vaughan - Every Day I Have The Blues - Sassy Swings Again
Jamaaladeen Tacuma - The Next Stop - Renaissance Man
Quincy Jones - O Happy Day - Walking In Space

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

Playlists for all past Sets of Jazz Gumbo will be found at

A pretty broad mix of things this week, and it remains me of the amazing diversity of human expression, of all the many ways we can be moved. And, as I approach six years of producing this Podcast, I delight in playing artists and individual cuts that I haven’t before, as well as favorites that I reintroduce now and again.

So I make note of the Courtney Pine piece, from a newly acquired album, to Nana Simopoulos, an artist entirely new to me, and to Billy Joel, who is not someone who normally comes to mind for inclusion, but whose gorgeous pop standard I find irresistible.

The Podomatic stats page tells me that I’m drawing listeners from more and more cities and countries. As always, I’d love to hear from any of you who care to share a word about the music, who have a request, a complaint or best of all, a recommendation of an amazing artist you think ought to be heard more widely, that I might share with your fellow listeners.

Thanks for your ears; I hope they enjoy this week’s flavors!

Kirby Obsidian

February 25, 2018 05:45 PM PST

Artist - Tune - Album
Freddie Hubbard - Red Clay - Red Clay
King Pleasure - I’m In The Mood For Love - Mr. Jazz
Hugh Masekela - Goin’ Back To New Orleans - Union of South Africa
Tania Maria - Eruption - Taurus
The Modern Jazz Quartet - Django - The Last Concert
Lonnie Smith - Mama Wailer - Mama Wailer
Billie Holiday - Lover Man - The Billie Holiday Story
Bennie Maupin - Just Give It Some Time - Moonscapes
Tony Williams - Extreme Measures - Native Heart
Moe Kaufman - Neptune - Solar Explorations
Cassandra Wilson - Love And Hate - Point Of View
Lenny White, Chick Corea - Why Wait - The Griffith Park Collection
Freddie Hubbared, Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke
Anita O’Day - The Man I Love - An Evening With Anita O’Day
Charles Mingus - Sophisticated Lady - The Great Concert

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

This is another all vinyl Set. And though none of the music is new, most of the cuts are new to Jazz Gumbo. And they are Amazing! And I’m going to let the music speak for itself.

But a couple of these numbers really cling to me these last days. You know how it can be with music: a tune is played; somehow, it burrows down into you; and it faintly colors your mood and thoughts and feelings, lends a different perspective, enlivens your sense of being.

Well that’s how it was this week with Cassandra Wilson’s “Love and Hate”, and with Lady Day’s “Lover Man”. The latter carried me even further, to re-reading the many fascinating anecdotes from Holiday’s autobiography, “Lady Sings the Blues” that are contained in the liner notes. A small nugget of her life is shared in relation to each tune, how it came about or what it meant to her. I’ve added that book to my must-read list.

I hope you’ll love the Set!


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!

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