World of Jazz 139


  1. Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights – Dancing For Cigarettes – Songs from the Big Book of Love (2015)
  2. Samahdi Quintet – Dance of Venus – The Dance Of Venus (2015)
  3. Woody Shaw Quintet – We’ll Be Together Again – Field Recordings of a Jazz Master (2012)
  4. Francy Boland and Kenny Clarke – Uma Fita De Três Cores – Three Latin Adventures (1969)
  5. Vasilis Xenopoulos – West Side Groove – Loud City (2011)
  6. Ivo Neame – Personality Clash – Strata (2015)
  7. Sun Ra – Jazz From An Unknown Place – Cosmos (1976)
  8. Andy Sheppard – The Impossibility Of Silence – Surrounded By Sea (2015)
  9. Bugge Wesseltoft – Play It – Bugge & Friends (feat. Erik Truffaz, Joaquin Claussell & Ilhan Ersah) (2015)


  1. Bandcamp
  2. Samadhi Quintet combine the rhythms of Indian and Latin American music with the beats of hip hop and the language of jazz to create a truly unique sound. Led by drummer and composer Sam Gardner the group  released their debut album ‘The Dance of Venus‘ in autumn 2014. The album is a celebration of life, consciousness and the universe and the group explore the role of meditation and still consciousness in music. Samadhi – achieved through meditation – is a state of consciousness where the logical and analytical ability of the being becomes silent. It is thus a space from which music flows, unimpeded by the ego’s thought and judgement. The Dance of Venus celebrates the Quadrivium – the four Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music and Cosmology, studied from antiquity as a means to perceive the beautiful numerical order that characterizes the universe. Samadhi Quintet explore ‘number in time’, the essential nature of music by combining the highly structured numerical systems of rhythm found in Indian classical music and the pinpoint precision grooves and rich harmonic progressions of hip-hop.
  3. Various live recordings – Tracks 1-3: recorded in 1980 on cassette tape in San Francisco, California, by the Woody Shaw Quintet. Track 4: recorded on June 4, 1981, on cassette tape in New York by the Woody Shaw Quintet. Track 5: From “Live at the Reunion San Francisco,” 1975 (Jazz School Records). The Mark Levine Nonet. Recordings provided by Woody Shaw III and The Woody Shaw Global Arts Foundation; Steve Turre.
  4. The two albums featured on the superb Three Latin Adventures are1968’s Latin Kaleidoscope (released on Prestige Records in the US) and Fellini 712 (also 1968). Latin Kaleidoscope is comprised of two suites that are more traditionally Latinate, with the band swinging on well-written parts to a panoply of well-used percussion elements (Boland recruited drummers Kenny Clare, Al “Tootie” Heath” and Sabu Martinez to add their percussion talents). “Fellini 712” may be based on Latin origins, but Boland transcends such humble beginnings to a more universal language.
  5. Debut album from Greek saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos. Berkley educated, Vasilis is fast becoming the most in-demand saxophonist working in the UK. An album of original material from an exciting young band, currently taking London by storm – featuring Vasilis Xenopoulos (saxophones), Nigel Price (guitar), Sam Gambarini (Hammond Organ) and Chris Nickolls (drums).
  6. Known widely for his linchpin roles with Phronesis and Marius Neset, effulgent beacon of contemporary jazz piano, Ivo Neame, takes a side step from his octet and other projects to release this exciting new quintet title Strata. Collaborating again with UK luminaries (including three fellow Whirlwind artists) Tori Freestone (saxes/flutes), Jim Hart (vibraphone), Tom Farmer (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums), this collection of eight Neame originals gyrates energetically with complex written grooves and varying instrumental colors to spark opportunities for venturous, improvised blowing.
  7. Recorded in France in 1976 and originally released on the French Cobra label in Europe and on Inner City Records in the US.
  8. Surrounded by Sea, Andy Sheppard’s third ECM album, is a strongly atmospheric recording, and one whose associative title seems especially apt. As the saxophonist observes, the sea in question is mostly calm, but storms and squalls can arise in a moment. British Islanders are fine-tuned to such sudden fluctuations: “Coming from England, I’ve grown up with the physical awareness of being surrounded by sea.” The album adds Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset to the line-up of Sheppard’s widely acclaimed Trio Libero  making a new quartet with a different emphasis. “I see the quartet as the next step on from Trio Libero. Libero started out as an improvising trio. A lot of the material was drawn from our improvisation and turned into tunes. With this new album I wanted to retain the same musicality but move things in a new direction with the addition of harmony and subtle grooves.” With Sheppard’s compositions and direction to the fore, and Aarset’s ambient drones and washes of sound integrated as quasi-orchestral elements, priorities have shifted. The addition of a fourth player has, paradoxically, opened up more space in the music. Eivind’s textural soundscapes, his subtly layered guitar and electronics, seem to give Sheppard more room to move as well as a harmonic foundation to play off.
  9. The restless musical spirit of Bugge Wesseltoft continues its curious and extensive peregrinations across new sonic landscapes, discovering new textures, moods, and treasures. Accompanied by his friends Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joe Claussell, Beady Belle, and Torun Eriksen, each expedition uncovers new combinations of classic jazz, club, funk, latin, soul with fresh energies. Where the mood begins as something sedate, it can evolve into something ecstatic. Songs reverberate with an unyielding drive, and solos are traded with gusto and verve. Not a note is wasted, and every beat takes us on a brand new trip. The ghost of Miles Davis smoking Havana cigars, or Eric Dolphy tuning into Detroit techno, or perhaps Thelonious Monk hang-gliding over Sao Paolo: any number of unlikely descriptions could be conjured to describe the music offered by Bugge & Friends, but none would give a true picture of the countless patterns, shades, tones, colours and textures that make up each of the tracks presented. And while each track has its own climate, its own landscape, the consistency of the musicians and their individual personal signatures appear in each one. Instruments come in pure acoustic and heavily treated forms, as well as electric variants, synthesisers, samples, and loops. The music is made up of intricate weaves and meshes that a listener could spend months trying to untangle: but there’s no need to do that – this is joyous music, music for pleasure, improvisation and composition at their most life-affirming. Compulsory listening for fans of any of these superb musical companions.


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