Monday, 1 November 2010

Playlist: Welcome To Jazz Club Vol 1

Welcome To Jazz Club Vol. 1

Over the last 4-6 months i've been compiling a playlist of some of the best traditional Jazz as well as more contemporary artists such as Elizabeth Shepherd, Esperanza Spalding, Build An Ark, Robert Glasper Trio, Nick Rosen and more. It felt kinda right to release it to the world at this present time, firstly because i didn't know what else to add or take away from the compilation. The twenty or so tracks, seemed to have a good harmony about them and secondly I felt that the records included had the right fit for an introduction and yet also those experienced in the genre might discover something new if i'd got it right.

The playlist is themed around accessible Jazz, but not necessarily ignoring the experimental. For instance, although we start with Nick Rosens uplifting morning of Twin Harbours and Blue Note's Robert Glasper Trio, soon pops up Rashaan Roland Kirk's cover of Ain't No Sunshine. Here is a Jazz record which is broody yet playful (Kirk tries to sing through his flute) and yet also from an artist of much repute, this one of his seminal works. Speaking of seminal works, the full version of My Favourite Things by John Coltrane also had to go in. The fact that the whole of the 4 track EP was recorded in 3 days and produced something which gets better with age is testament to the talent of the players involved. The vintage of Coltrane is nearly matched by the Egyptian Jazz of Pharoah Sanders who actually gets two spots on this hour long playlist. Firstly his record Astral Travelling, a classic from his LP Thembi, and secondly a group called Build An Ark who excellently covered You've Got To Have Freedom in 2004.

Roy Ayers, an artist who I own many albums by, appears with Mystic Voyage with an R&B come Jazz record. I guess this is really JazzFunk but it's groove is jazz and Ayers tinkling on the vibraphone is always something else.

Seven Bucks by Elizabeth Shepherd is one of the few fully vocalled records on this collection but the double bass, percussion, lyrics and upbeat message, for me adds to the idea that this genre is not easily date stamped.

Ronnie Foster's Mystic Brew was sampled to perfection by Tribe Called Quest, but the original stands the test of time, simply stunning lounge come R&B jazz. It wasn't available on Spotify but very much reminded me of Challenge by Travis Biggs for it's tempo.

Hank Mobley's Ballin- I love how this tune has a sort of hiphop name and starts with some flair; definite crowd pleaser. The harp is a much under appreciated/used instrument in Jazz, more often used in classical music, which is why Afro-Harping by Dorothy Ashby bucked the trend in 1968 using the harp as the main instrument and placing everything else around it. I chose to use the track 'Games' from the album but could have easily included anything else although it is very swinging 60's in places. What i'd liked previously about George Benson, whose track No Sooner Said Than Done is included here, was his work with Kenny Dope, Louie Vega on Masters At Work Nuyorican Soul album.

Beyond these selections, records by Azymuth, Weldon Irvine, Dave Brubeck, Pat Methany, George Duke, Terence Blanchard and more help to create this first compilation.

Full track listing below or click here to open the playlist in Spotify.

The next chapter has already started, but that can wait until 2011, keep posted here to see when that will be.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did putting it together..


Nick Rosen- Twin Harbours
Robert Glasper Trio- No Worries
Hank Mobley- Ballin'
Bobby Hutcherson- Head Start
George Duke- Alone 6AM
Build An Ark- You've Gotta Have Freedom
Elizabeth Shepherd- Seven Bucks
Rahsaan Roland Kirk- Ain't No Sunshine
Dorothy Ashby- Games
Pat Methany- Son of Thirteen
Esperanza Spalding- The Peacocks
George Benson- No Sooner Said Than Done
Pharaoh Sanders- Astral Travelling
Terence Blanchard- D's Choice
Azymuth- Butterfly
Weldon Irvine- Music Is The Key
Roy Ayers- Mystic Voyage
John Coltrane- My Favourite Things
Ronnie Foster- Mystic Brew
Dave Brubeck- Take Five
Eugene McDaniels- Jagger The Dagger

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